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Have tons of pine...ok to use for permaculture applications?  RSS feed

 
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The main available component in my area and my land specifically is pine of all sorts from straw to logs. How does compost mainly consisting of pine work out for most plants? Good for hugelkultur or deep/sheet mulching. Want not to invest tons of time using the pine if it's not ideal or that great anyways. Will burn it if no good.

Thanks! Derrick
 
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Location: Northern New Mexico, Latitude:35 degrees N, Elevation:6000'
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I'm not sure I should even reply because I have no experience with using only pine.  Yet I'm going to comment anyhow.  LOL

I think it would be fine to use pine logs for making hugelkulture with.....

It's been quite a few years since I've looked at his place, but Paul Gautschi has a property in WA where he's basically using wood chips from his area for his gardens.  Which are predominately pine from what I recall.  If you google or youtube his name and Back to Eden you'll find info on him and his garden method.
 
gardener
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Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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I think you should be fine using it for mulch chips, particularly for acid loving plants, like blueberries; but so long as you are not incorporating it into your upper layers (just as a top dressing mulch), then you should be fine.   As for hugulkultur, it would be good to use it if the wood is rotten.  If it hasn't got rot in it, it will take a while to break down if it's buried, I think.  Cut it and leave it on the ground, and let fungi get into it.  Then use it for hugulkultur. 
 
Derrick Clausen
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Thanks y'all for the input! I did set up one fairly sizable hugel mound with pine logs at the bottom. However very well rotted ones. Rotted enough to break apart and it's like 12" diameter or better logs. Big logs that preexisted me buying the land. Gotta be years old. Guess I'll use the rest and make a huge row. 2/3 of one of my three acres is uncleared natural woods(as far as you can consider old pine woods for paper production natural...but like 40+ years growing undisturbed). Will start clearing into the brush for my greener components in the mounds.
 
pollinator
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Hi Derrick.

I would suggest potatoes as well. They love the acid. You could grow potatoes and blueberries for the first little bit.

I like to start my hugelbeets with potato because it can deal with the kind of messed-up soil structure you get in building it. Also, I have seen pine straw used exclusively to mulch potatoes in trenches that are topped up with pine straw as the plants grow. Pine straw is a boon in this case.

Oh, and if you don't like tasty taters, just leave them to rot. They may come back next season, where you can just let them rot again. All they would do is add soil structure and food for soil life.

-CK
 
Derrick Clausen
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Cool man I should give potatoes a try. I have an experiment idea I am gonna try due to your response. Gonna layer pine needles in huge 30+ gal pots mixed with bunny poop and kitchen scraps and perhaps some soil and plant taters in the bottom filling the area around the stem with the same mix as they grow upward. I think it will work if they like the pine in general. Already a concept I know works just gonna heavy mix it with pine needles. Light and airy structure with adequate nutrition should explode growth. Gonna try peppers and such too.
 
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