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Mulberries as dynamic accumulators

 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
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  This is a new subject to me, but i have found that mulberries are called accumulators and so good for the garden and the explaination i have invented for this is that they accumulate nitrogen and maybe other usefull minerals and then when their leaves drop they leave  plenty of usefull minerals on the surface of the soil. They could, with their long roots, accumulate the nutrients the rain water had washed deep into the soil. so a good thing.

  On the other hand plants that pick up poisonouse substances like aliminium and so could be good for cleaning sites with too much of this mineral are also called accumulators and their leaves could have a less positive effect on the soil in my garden unless i knew about their capacity and gathered the leaves and stored them in a safe place so as to reduce the aliminium on my land.
  It seems to me that some care is needed with plants said to be accumulators, the question is, of what. agri rose macaskie.
 
Ardilla Esch
Posts: 198
Location: Northern New Mexico, Zone 5b
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Phyto=remediation using hyperaccumulators has been used quite a bit.  It has a lot of limitations for cleaning up contaminated sites but it is effective in certain circumstances.  Typically it is used in conjunction with other techniques to reduce various heavy metal concentrations in soils.

The plants used for remediation are often refered to as hyperaccumulators, because they remove hundreds to thousands of milligrams of the particular compound per kilogram of dry biomass.  There are a handfull of plants that do this well and are usually specific to one or a couple metals.  There are some plants like several mustards and willows that extract a wide range of metals.

I would hesitate to intentionally employ accumulators to try to "clean up" your land unless you have specific information that you have a problem.  Even then, it can take a very long time and/or a lot of biomass to make significant change.  For the most part, the potential hazard comes from eating large quantities of the accumulators.  If you have a varied diet and your body is capable of processing metals normally, I wouldn't worry about it.
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
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Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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The term "dynamic accumulators" is also commonly used.  Robert Kourik in his book "esigning and maintaining your edible landscape naturally" accumulated a three page list of accumulators from a variety of sources.  I am not sure about the accuracy.  It includes things like Dock, Dandelion, Nettle, Comfrey, Thistle, as well as other common weedy species.
 
Gravity is a harsh mistress. But this tiny ad is pretty easy to deal with:
The stocking stuffer game for all your Permaculture companions
http://www.FoodForestCardGame.com
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