I've got a LOT of pine on the property. The previous owner planted 500+ white pines as a wind break and privacy barrier. I'd like to replace those with something that serves those functions and still other functions. In the end, I've got a lot of pine to bring down. I've started using downed pines in hugelkultur swales along which I'll plant a food forest. I'm torn between using a resource that I have (pine) and using something that might be a better fungal medium (hardwood mulch provided commercially). How much does using pine set me back in terms of developing the soil that will be beneficial for a food forest?
Dan, use what you have and work with it. Don't fight it. Seems like the site is gardened for itself to be fungal dominated with pine. Plant what pines like. I would go big into highbush blueberries, they love to be associated with pines. Just make sure your soil has enough iron. If not enough use rusty old metal at the base of each blueberry and mulch. My take.
When I lived in NC, pine needle mulch was HIGHLY sought after--so desirable they had problems with people STEALING MULCH!!! It may be valuable enough to trade a landscape company that has an abundance of hardwood mulch at a very favorable rate--get a dumptruck of hardwood mulch for a pickup load of needles. Longshot, but worth a look if you don't want blueberries. But who wouldn't want blueberries....
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