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Sunchokes as mulch.

 
William Bronson
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Posts: 3543
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
463
forest garden trees urban
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What grows I miss the shade of the sunchoke? Not much, I think.
Are they allopathic? So it would seem.
If so, how about this:
I have a bed of grapes, hardy kiwi and bindweed.
Useually I have volunteer tomatoes as well, but a heavy mulch of leaves seems to have supressed most other things. Too bad.
The bind weed is not welcome here and I tire of fighting it.
So I was thinking of moving in sunchokes and comfrey.
Both seem able to dominate a space, and yet I think maybe not adverse affect the vines.
But then again, they might. Which would suck.
So I am asking y'all what you think.
Both plants are hard to remove, so I woul like to know ahead of time, not just try it like I usually do!
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 7967
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
1722
3
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I like the idea! ....I'm not familiar with trying to out compete bindweed though. I do this in places where bermuda grass is trying to take over.........I have some success in keeping it back by growing comfrey, mint, raspberries and a few other things that folks warn me are 'invasive'.....tansey and vinca and clovers and rye grass seem to help and vetch.....Goosefoot loose strife (I think that's it's name) lost to the bermuda in one area. I like watching the edges to see who is holding their own I have been seeing a little bindweed in odd places and I know it's time to add a competitor there.....I've never worried about sunchokes taking over because the deer keep them nibbled back....just enough that they grow new leaves and then they come by and nibble again.....I would love it if they established as a dense area. I wonder if the bindweed would climb the sunchokes?
 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
463
forest garden trees urban
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Thanks for the encouragement!
Turns out I had already planted sunchoke in this bed!
So I will add some more and start spreading the comfrey.
Comfrey will shade the mulch hopefully discouraging the bindweed.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Posts: 17389
Location: Pacific Northwest
7997
4
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I really hope this works for you. My bindweed here is crazy. I wouldn't be surprised if yours happily climbs up over the comfrey and up the stalks of sunchokes, though maybe your variety isn't as vigorous in your area as mine is here. Mine seems to hold a lot of reserve energy in it's roots, enough to propel it through deep mulch until it can see the sun. I piled cedar branches about 6-12 inches deep over where my bindweed is, hoping the allopathic properties and the shade would do the trick. It and the salmonberry grew right up through the branches. The salmon berry doesn't out-compete the bindweed, either--the bindweed just happily climbs up the salmonberry. I tried spraying vinegar on it, too. No good. I even tried--in desperation--dipping the tips of bindweed in roundup. This year, we just bought a giant ream of black plastic sheeting and are covering the entire area with it. We'll leave it tarped off for probably 5 years. Hopefully by then it will have died. I have no idea what to do about the bindweed growing in my protected wetlands. I hate bindweed! I really hope you find something useful that out-competes it!
 
William Bronson
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Posts: 3543
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
463
forest garden trees urban
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Nicole I feel for you.
My bindweed also strangles everything it gets a hold of. And it is everywhere, in the "grass" , in the beds, everywhere.
I have illusions about ending it, I just hope to slow it down, especially among my cultivated vines, since they are that much harder to weed there and they or fighting for the same niche.
I think I might plant some sweet potatoes, melons ,pumpkins , just to see how they compete.
I hope your plastic works, I have some sprouting from a foot deep mulch trench..
gift
 
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