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Plants which generate large volumes of green matter for compost?

 
Steve Hitchen
Posts: 30
Location: Yorksire - North England
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Hi,

I have a lump of space in my garden which this year I have no significant need for. However - my compost heap can take as much green matter as I can throw at it.

What would be some good plants to grow where my focus is on generating the maximum amount of green matter for the compost heap?

The "soil" is pretty rich - it's two year old wood chip.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I'm really loving Cardoon, which is also edible. Mine are growing huge - it looks like I'll need to continually cut them back to keep them within bounds in my small kitchen garden.

cardoon.jpg
[Thumbnail for cardoon.jpg]
 
Dillon Nichols
pollinator
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Location: Victoria BC
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Borage and Comfrey are the first couple that come to mind for me. Careful with the comfrey, it can get outa control. The 'bocking 14' cultivar is sterile, but still spreads readily by roots cuttings, purposeful and otherwise.
 
Lou Schultz
Posts: 15
Location: Zone 5a Upstate NY
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Burdock will throw up some big leaves, and has an edible root (known as gobo root in Japanese cuisine) and stem. As a biennial, you can get of it, should you ever decide to, by cutting back before it goes to seed, and by not rototilling the substantial taproot - the pieces will regrow.
 
Jessica Padgham
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Location: Denver, Co 6000ft bentonite clay soil
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What about big annual grasses? I'm thinking thing like rye and sorghum and corn. Probably many things that are traditionally cover crops would work.

Also, I would vote borage over comfrey since it's an annual.
 
Keith Odell
Posts: 60
Location: Indiana
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Sweet potatoes?
 
Dillon Nichols
pollinator
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Location: Victoria BC
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Also, I would vote borage over comfrey since it's an annual.


Fair enough, comfrey is definitely something of a once-only choice! Despite this, it's so useful that I wouldn't want to do without it; I consider the very... persistent... nature of it to be a feature not a bug.

Conveniently, though borage is an annual, it readily self-seeds, so you have it as long as you want it, at least around here.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1356
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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I would vote for legumes. unless you are using fertilizer in which case a grass family plant.
 
Mike Cantrell
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Location: Mid-Michigan
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Second vote for burdock.

But, now that I think about it, if the soil is great, then maybe squashes/pumpkins/melons? They may try to escape their bounds, sending vines around, but you just chop off the strays. And they'll definitely make lots of leaves. But the clincher is, if they set fruit, they'll make many POUNDS of compost. Much more weight, I expect, than anything that will be making only leaves.
 
Nico Neubauer
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In the tropical zone on the tongan islands i use Now the leafs and stems of outsorted papaya trees for compost. Will See how it works.

Nico
 
Todd Parr
Posts: 666
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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Definitely Comfrey for me. My favorite plant.
 
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