I think this is very valuable advice, as is most of what TJ said.
If you are going to mulch, my unsolicited advice is go deep mulch in smaller areas rather than an inch or two in a big area if they are in during the wet season. If you are getting the chips early in the dry season maybe the other way around because they are solely providing shade for that season and won't degrade much until it gets wet again.
Michael Jameson wrote:Hi Tyler, natives adapted to these conditions are highly drought tolerant, which is great. But they are anything but fast growing in my experience.
Tyler Ludens wrote:
Even annuals are slow-growing in your locale? I planted native wildflower seed in one bald spot on my place and they made complete cover in a couple seasons with no irrigation. Some were annuals, some perennials. Shrubs and trees are much slower.
Ryan Sanders wrote:I am also on the long patient journey to more shade and wind protection in a dry climate. I would definitely second the nursery idea. It has been really easy and allows me to cheaply grow more locally adapted perennials. I just make a point of collecting seeds in the fall.
I have adopted a couple strategies:
-Plant the riparian zones: shade begets shade, so move the edge out slowly. I can mostly neglect these plantings.
-Drip irrigation for perennial establishment in full sun. I run one poly pipe with drippers that can be connected to a garden hose a few times a year when the trees are stressed. Even plant spacing means you can reuse for a new row once established.
-Individual larger plants: These get babied often watered by hand with 6"+ of mulch. I only plant a couple per year, so they can get the necessary attention.
From a pioneer species perspective, locusts and siberian pea shrub have been the top performers outside the riparian zone.
Nicola Stachurski wrote:
However, I asked my husband to dig some holes using his post hole attachment on his bobcat (skid steer). Then I chucked in organic matter/paper/cardboard, and refilled. Trees planted in these holes are 5 times the size in just one season. The holes seem to hang on to moisture too, so everything is surviving. I am looking forward to next summer, to see if there is another growth spurt once the rain arrives.
Nicola Stachurski wrote:
I was worried about that too, but Dr RedHawk said not to fuss too much. My next idea is to create holes nearby, with organic matter (I have lots of horse poop) and create a plug of moisture and underground compost that the roots might stretch into.
Perhaps I should keep some photo records and see how they go in the future. Might be useful for others!
Hauling some carbon in to mulch deeply around (but maybe not right up tight against-->that can encourage rodents to chew the cambium bark) the young tree will allow any moisture that you give it, or that comes from rain, to stick around longer (It does this by eliminating dry wind, by decreasing direct sun on the clay soil, and by keeping it cooler in the summer); by keeping the clay moist, mulch also encourages microbial growth and feeder roots near the soil surface; it encourages fungal partners as happens in forest duff, it encourage spiders and beneficial insects, and it also gives a proper growing environment, by establishing a soil/duff type interface, where other transplants can be established in the (future) shade of the tree.
Why haul carbon in when a tree takes it from the air and puts it underground?
Roberto pokachinni wrote:Hauling some carbon in to ...