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Chop N' Drop Mulch  RSS feed

 
Posts: 153
Location: Davie, Fl
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Black Walnut    Ca K P


Black walnuts and allelopathy
"Juglone in the Soil
Juglone is exuded from all parts of the walnut tree. Juglone can affect other plants either through root contact, leakage or decay in the soil, falling and decaying leaves, or when rain leaches and drips juglone from leaves and branches onto plants below. Plants located beneath the canopy of walnut trees are most at risk because juglone from the roots and fallen leaves accumulates there.

Although juglone has low water solubility and does not move far in the soil, small amounts may be injurious to sensitive plants. Plant roots can encounter juglone when they grow within 0.5 - 0.25 inches from a walnut root. Walnut roots can extend in the soil well beyond the crown or drip line of the tree, affecting susceptible plants far from the black walnut. "
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/staff/rbir/blackwalnutcompanions.html


All walnuts produce juglone, however after slight research it appears that some walnuts do not produce much of this chemical. Black walnuts seem to be the produce the highest amount in the walnut family

Some plants will work well the black walnuts, however others may fail miserably.
 
pollinator
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
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Podcast of Paul and a few friends at the pub:) Talk about "weeds" and chop n drop, as well as "good" weeds vs "bad" weeds: http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/308-podcast-036-aquaculture-community-weeds/
 
pollinator
Posts: 1454
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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New Convert here.  I have been reading about chop and drop and have practiced it to a degree.  The other day I watched a video of some guy weeding his veggies and putting them right back down between the veggies.

I create all of my own mulch because I am trying to work towards a closed loop system (less chance of contamination) and it is a fair amount of work.

So the other day I decided to go whole hog with the chop/pull and drop thing.  I got MASSIVE amounts of weeding done in a short period of time, learned more about my soil and the plants in it.  It was SO much easier than anything I have been doing.  When I look at what I was doing only week before I can’t believe that I was working that hard at it.

And another upside is that all this freed up time can be spent on growing more stuff!
 
                                      
Posts: 21
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Anyone have opinions on using Artichoke or Rhubarb leaves for chop/drop? It's the only plants I have right now that have a decent amount of biomass.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1454
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Well this is not rhubarb but last fall I used the really large leaves from my cabbage and just put them down like newspaper around some fennel and bell pepper.  The plants are growing great and it did prevent weeds for quite a while.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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i have used both ..also I have a lot of horseradish and milkweed so some of those get chopped and dropped as well as the usual comfrey, etc..

I also have a lot of sidalcea (min hollyhock or checker mallow) and those might be chopped and dropped before they go to seed this year too, as they do rebloom. (deer love them)

you also can chop and drop ornamental grasses..
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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update on the goumi in zone4/5 garden Michigan

One is still alive..not growing strong but alive..we'll keep it protected and keep an eye on it.none of the paw paws have made it yet though
 
Suzy Bean
pollinator
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
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Geoff Lawton talks to Paul again (part 2) in this podcast: Podcast 090

Geoff talks about chop n drop mulch and its relationship to rainfall.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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I worked pretty much all summer and fall with the chop and drop, and I was very happy with the results. I also was able to move a lot of baby comfrey roots to near all of my fruit trees, so that it would make it easier and closer for me to chop and drop without having to haul it in a wheelborrow. I have also moved lots of bits of the rhubarb here and there near fruit trees so I can use the leaves of it. I have had my eye on all the larger leafed or very heavy foilage weeds also, but still haven't gotten to chopping branches off of my alder shrubs and other shrubs yet, although I have had it in my mind to do it..that will be one of my aims for next year..chopping and dropping nitrogen rich tree twigs and leaves..

I have used prunings as mulch in the past..but tended to not use the twigs as much as the leafy stuff..but now I realize the twigs are also useful..esp if they touch the soil.
 
pollinator
Posts: 167
Location: NE Ohio (Zone 6a, on the cusp of 6b) 38.7" annual precip
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Hi all-

Does anyone have any opinions on chop and drop of Canadian horseweed (Conyza canadensis)?

I have a lot of it in places where I don't want it (encroaching into a back yard, where the dominant plant is a huge oak, grass and moss).

Here is a link to a reference that gives some mineral info:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Conyza+canadensis
I have not see it in lists of top bio-accumulators.

It spreads from seed only. It has a somewhat tough root.
It has 2 root habits I've observed: 2 stems sprout together and have a fibrous root systems right under the plant.
Or a single plant puts down a toughish main root, which either goes straight down (loose soil) or horizontally about 1/2 to 1" under more compacted soil.

What I have is a lot of plants 1/2" to 8" tall at present. They can grow to 5-6 feet.

What I'm wondering about:
- better to pull it up and drop (disturbing soil, grass or moss nearby)
- Or chop it at surface, leaving root in the ground and drop it (Would this leave a channel for air, and leave nutrients there? Of course it may seen up a new stem. That could be bad or good: if it's an OK mulch, I certainly have enough of it to keep using it!)
- OK to use as a mulch in my green foliage beds?
- OK to use as a mulch in my veg growing area?

Any reason NOT to use it as a mulch?
Any reason to chop versus pull?

Thanks a bunch!
Mariamne
 
Posts: 108
Location: Taos, New Mexico
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How large should one allow a pea shrub to grow before starting to chop and drop? And what is the rule for how much to cut it back?

Most of mine are just entering their second summer, but one is nearly 5 feet already and has flowers.
 
Posts: 260
Location: De Cymru (West Wales, UK)
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What about mulching with broadleaf dock (Rumex obtusifolius)? I have tons of it, it has a tap root like comfrey but is high in oxalates. Could I use this as a mulch, especially around fruit like raspberries and strawberries?
 
Posts: 6801
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
863
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S Carreg wrote:What about mulching with broadleaf dock (Rumex obtusifolius)? I have tons of it, it has a tap root like comfrey but is high in oxalates. Could I use this as a mulch, especially around fruit like raspberries and strawberries?



I just came in from "chopping and dropping" curly dock, dandelion, arugula (we are eatting it every day, too), chickweed(more of a lift and flip), buckwheat, fava beans, a little rye grass and some clovers all growing around my tomatoes. I left the lambs quarters because we are eatting on it from now through July.
The dock is my favorite for coverage and regrowth...haven't noticed any problem with it as mulch around any plants and trees and it is growing right there with them...wish I had even more. I always let some go to seed and scatter it around. I finally saw a broad dock here that we will let go to seed.
 
S Carreg
Posts: 260
Location: De Cymru (West Wales, UK)
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Ah, thanks for that, will definitely get chopping then! We have a crazy amount of it since the previous owners tore the land up with back-hoes and propogated roots like mad, it's got to be good for something. I thought the chickens would like the seeds, but so far they don't seem that interested.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 6801
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
863
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I see on my list that broad leaved dock is a dynamic accumulator for...Ca, K, P and Fe. I don't know how much is released from leaves on the surface as mulch (or even how much is stored in the leaves) but you might want to check what your plants needs are where ever you use it exclusively.
There are a couple lists in the forums here for 'dynamic accumulators' . I am sorry I can't link to them with this Kindle..maybe if I say it often enough they will appear at the bottom of the screen as 'similar threads'.
 
S Carreg
Posts: 260
Location: De Cymru (West Wales, UK)
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thank you again, i will search for that. I'm still pretty naive on how to determine what each plant's specific needs are, and am functioning more on a 'my soil is generally poor' principle, so just trying to get my hands on as much mulch and organic matter of all kinds as I possibly can. It's season one here so I have yet to see the error or splendor of my ways...
 
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