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Do dynamic accumulators compete with fruit trees in a forest garden?

 
saar ostraiher
Posts: 5
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Hi there,
It make sence to plant together a fruit tree that needs lots of certain nutrient with a plant that is a good dynamic accumulator for the same nutrient.
But unlike Nitrogen fixation, the dynamic acculumators acculumate the nutrients from the soil (and not from the air). so maybe it can cause competition?
It will not make sence to plant lots of fruit trees that need alot of the same nutrient close to each other. But what are dynamic acculumators if not plants that needs nutrients and therefore take them from the soil and store them in theis bodies?
I know the idea that those nutrients will become more available to the productive trees later on when the leaves of the dynamic accumulator plants will decompose. But why not let the fruit trees take those nutrients by themself directly from the soil?
maybe its wiser to plant the dynamic accumulator far away and then bring their leafs to the fruit trees. but i dont want to create more work for us in our big food forest.
and perhaps i didnt understand well enough the way dynamic accumulators works.
Thanks
Saar
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Your are very correct. The solution is to make sure that their roots dont overlap.
Most fruit trees only have roots that are 18 inches deep.
A dynamic accumulator like daikon/tillage radish has a 7ft root. (3ft as a carrot-like tuber and another 4ft of feeder root)
What this means is that the dynamic accumulators are going deep into the soil and bring the minerals to the surface.
Now if both the fruit tree and the dynamic accumulator have similar roots then it would not make sense.

Not only is there space separation but we also have time separation.
If you can grow something in the winter when the fruit tree is not growing and then top dress it as food for your "summer/fall" fruit. You are in luck.
In fact this works really well for farmers who grow annuals such as corn/tomatoes/etc. In the winter they plant a cover crop and in the summer, their main crop.

There are also times when the dynamic accumulators does more than one job. So overall it is doing more good than bad.
Lets go back to the daikon radish example, even if they were competing in the same root zone.
Because it drills 3ft-7ft holes into the ground, you can use that to help with compacted soil.
And if you leave it in the soil worms will come in to eat it, thus aerating the soil even more.
Because they are in the cabbage family, they release a good amount of sulphur and that can keep certain species of harmful fungi in moderate populations.
Because they are annuals and if planted at the proper time will not self-seed, you can use them as a one time tool or a ever 4 year tool if you so choose.
 
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