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Question about mulch for forest garden.  RSS feed

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Hi, I have a land and i planted some pionner trees, the land is full of herbs in most of its parts.

I made some water channels that cross the land , the water channels irrigate most of the land.
Now a lot of sorgum have grown and its invading the land.
I have not mulched the land yet.

Very near from my land there is another land that is abandoned for many years. That land has trees and a dense layer of mulch and it doenst has herbs.
I made a hole in the mulch and the soil down the soil smells like the characteristic smell of soil but very intense ( in my land the soil doenst smell anything). An also i found a lot of life , in the soil and in the leaves, a lot of insects, spiders, in the mulch and in the soil i found earth worms.

I was thinking about taking this mulch from that land and putting it in my land.
Do you think its a good idea?

Should i cut the herbs first? or can i put the mulch over the herbs in my land?

Or maybe is not recommendable to make this in this step of my forest garden? I just planted some pionner trees but they are very little yet.

any idea?

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I think this depends on just how much you want to take. I would recommend taking small portions, including a small amount of soil with the mulch, and treat it very carefully. Put it in your own mulch, if you have any. If you don't have any, you can mix the small amount of the soil into the root zone of your pioneer plants. Also, if you have any of your own compost, I would put that just above the soil you incorporated. Then put the mulch you borrowed on top of that. Then, put some herbage cut from your own property on top of that mulch. In this way, you may be able to inoculate your degraded soil with the microorganisms from the healthier bit of ground. You will also be mimicking a natural soil horizon development that feeds from the top down.

It could look something like this:

fresh chopped herbage
mulch from healthy site
your own compost if you have any
top, organic soil layer with healthy soil gently snuggled in (not broken into too many pieces which will further harm any fungi)
your own soil

As to the amount to take, only you can judge.

If you are able to spare anything in the near future, you can also bring some herbage/mulch material/compost back to the land that you are taking mulch from. You could also think about arranging any branches and logs into "catch logs" across the contour to help retain any leaves that fall, without really damaging the site and doing that much work.
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Ronaldo, do you mean taking little bits from next door to inoculate your place?
If that's what you mean, I'd say go for it as it will add diverse communities,
and that's nearly always a good thing
I'm totally predictable, and everything I say is basically "mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch..."
but if you're talking about taking lots/mulching, I'd think about the impact removing stuff will have.
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