Hi everyone. This is my first post here, but I've been reading for a while. This site has A LOT of great info.
In the near future, I'm going to be buying my grandparent's property, which is about five acres. I would like to grow a good portion of the food my family eats. My grandmother always had a big garden, and my grandfather grew potatoes on much of the property for years, and I know the soil is fertile. The forest is slowly reclaiming the land, and there is lots of junk to be cleaned. Hopefully, I can turn the place into the paradise I have pictured in my head.
I would like to go the no till route with the garden. The neighbors have two horses and would love for someone to come take away all that manure, and I have easy access to lots of leaves, wood ash from the furnace, lawn clippings as well as seaweed, eelgrass, fish waste and lobster and crab shells.
But I also have access to lots of really punky wood, mostly spruce and fir, with some birch mixed in from our property. My brother, father and I heat our houses with the dead standing trees but some is so rotten that it crumbles in your hands and it is full of mycelium, probably from Red belted polypore. Would this be good to add to the soil? I've read that conifers can mess with the PH of the soil, but this stuff is pretty well rotted down and seems like a great source of carbon for my soil.
Anyone have experience with punky wood as a vegetable garden mulch? What about using it around fruit and nut trees?
I have been gathering just such wood from our local hillsides and then I bury it in places where I'm building mulch paths.
I am doing this to save on wood chips.
Basically it's pretty much the same stuff only you don't need to chip it and it's further along the way towards being decayed.
I say go for it.
Heh,I use whatever is free,both punky wood and chips. No telling what they are though there are basically no naturalized conifers around here. There is a thread about what woods are "good " or "bad" for hugel culture, the lowdown on the effect of conifers on soil Ph might show up there.
Punky wood is perfect for hugel mounds, it is a sponge when it comes to water retention.
The species you mention are not going to affect pH greatly, they are already well on the way to fully decomposed.
If you use it this way, you will use less water to keep your vegetables and other crops well watered.
You do not have to build mounds to use the hugel method, you can dig down, lay in the punky wood then put the soil back on top.
Plant what you want and be happy, your watering needs just went down.
As for using it for mulch, it will work very well.
The other items you mention; horse manure, leaves, wood ash, lawn clippings, seaweed, eelgrass, fish waste, lobster and crab shells. Wow, what a compost you can make with all those ingredients!
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