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Herbs used as orchard cover crops

 
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I have converted the table 4.11 in Fukuoka-San's book "The Natural Way of Farming" into an Excel sheet and took a screen shot.



enjoy
4.11.jpg
[Thumbnail for 4.11.jpg]
Herbs used as orchard cover crops
 
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When I think of herbs I think of aromatic seasoning plants:
mint/thyme family,
garlic/onion family
celery/dill/carrot family.
They host alot of predatory insect.

I do like the pea/legume family and diakon radish(mustard family).
 
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Very Nice excel sheet Gurkan, thank you for making that and posting the screen shot.

It should be mentioned that Fukuoka-San used the botanical definition of herb: "any seed-bearing plant which does not have a woody stem and dies down to the ground after flowering".
Thus, many here will look at his table and think vegetable or cover crop instead of herb,

There are many of the herbs (western sense of definition: "any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume".) That do well as understory plantings.

I have started some new medicinal garden spots with the hard to find herbs which will be used in medicines, these are going around all the fruit trees in our orchard area.
I have also planned to start our south slope as herb gardens for those specific plants that really want to grow in forest spaces.
 
Gurkan Yeniceri
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Thanks for the clarification Doctor :-)

Herbaceous plants, it is.

 
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Gurkan Yeniceri wrote:I have converted the table 4.11 in Fukuoka-San's book "The Natural Way of Farming" into an Excel sheet and took a screen shot.



enjoy

. What's grass for when cover cropping? It says weed control but don't they all weed control?  Do grass fix nitrogen like clover does? Or does nitrogen fixing even matter if grass has so much nutrients (think wheatgrass, has all mineral and nutrients known possible). My question is why would I ever include grass in my mix of cover crop when clover seems to offer me more benefits? Or do cover crop grow better when mixed up?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Samuel, cover crops do far better when grown as a mix.
Why would someone want to monocrop a cover crop?
I use a blend of something around 20 different plant species for covers, four of them are clovers, buckwheat, alfalfa, cereal rye, fescue, annual rye, rape, seven top turnip and on and on.
The reason for this is to get variety and thus diversity along with the many different root growth patterns, bacteria diversity, fungal diversity, the more different plants that are used, the better the end result soil will be.

Redhawk
 
Samuel Kuo
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Samuel, cover crops do far better when grown as a mix.
Why would someone want to monocrop a cover crop?
I use a blend of something around 20 different plant species for covers, four of them are clovers, buckwheat, alfalfa, cereal rye, fescue, annual rye, rape, seven top turnip and on and on.
The reason for this is to get variety and thus diversity along with the many different root growth patterns, bacteria diversity, fungal diversity, the more different plants that are used, the better the end result soil will be.

Redhawk

going off topic again but now my question is on the Fukuoka method of broadcasting seeds onto the cover crop. All these cover crop seems to have anti weed property, I think because they crowd area out before weed can take hold. So my thing with grass is that they grow so tightly that if you were to broadcast say for example tomato seeds onto grass, I'm not sure if tomatoes will ever be able to grow through the thick patch of grass. At least this is my current experiences with all the lawns I've seen. The soil underneath is tightly knit by the grass roots so it becomes hard. However clover don't seem to do this from my observation. They don't grow as tight as lawn and there are crevices in between where clovers grow and soil is soft. when seeds are broadcasted seeds can find a niche to grow in. My question is how to grow via seed balls methods when all these cover crop have "crowd out every other plant thus anti weed property"? And I'm thinking that clovers not being as anti weedy as grass is a better balance to have living mulch and to still be able to broadcast seeds onto.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Grass is not really a cover crop it is a pasture fodder crop so your observations about it are correct in the conclusion that seeds probably won't be able to sprout or grow.
Our pastures aren't over seeded with more grass seed, they are over seeded with a cover crop mix so that the pasture grasses will have better soil to grow in.

If you are going to follow Fukuoka San's methods you wouldn't have such grasses to contend with for long since you would need to get through the root mat to plant any seeds.

We did make a garden spot where there was fairly thick grass growing, but we did a turning of the sod prior to planting our vegetable seeds.

Redhawk
 
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I don't think I've ever seen kudzu recommended as a cover crop.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Kudzu can grow as much as a foot a day or more and any piece that touches soil can and will root.
It does make great cooked greens though and goats do seem to love it.

In the US it is now considered an invasive. I've seen an entire mile of Mississippi river bank covered in kudzu in under a year from one sprig being planted.
 
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That seems to be less of a problem of too much kudzu, and more a problem of not enough goats.

Joking aside, how far north do you have to go before it isn't invasive in that way? I mean, will a hard freeze do it? Would it be safe to use as an annual here in Canada?

-CK
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Samuel Kuo wrote:

Gurkan Yeniceri wrote:I have converted the table 4.11 in Fukuoka-San's book "The Natural Way of Farming" into an Excel sheet and took a screen shot.
enjoy

.  What's grass for when cover cropping? It says weed control but don't they all weed control?  Do grass fix nitrogen like clover does? Or does nitrogen fixing even matter if grass has so much nutrients (think wheatgrass, has all mineral and nutrients known possible). My question is why would I ever include grass in my mix of cover crop when clover seems to offer me more benefits? Or do cover crop grow better when mixed up?



Grasses are not known nitrogen fixers, they are good erosion prevention plants, they are good pasture plants.

Wheat grass does not have all minerals known possible, That is out right bunk.
Wheat grass can only have the nutrient profile of what minerals it has the opportunity to take in.
There are only 75 minerals found in soils all over the planet, But, there are 97 minerals found in sea water, that means that if you really want a complete mineral profile in your soil, you have to use sea solids (non-purified sea salt) to complete the mineral profile of any soil.

While clovers are great cover crops, they do not hold soil in place as well as grasses, clovers also tend to die back when there is a combination of high heat and no moisture, leaving their soil space nearly bare.
When that happens, erosion will occur from high winds or large amounts of rain. Nothing does everything we need for our soil, only with a high degree of diversity will the soil be as healthy as possible and remain in place.

Redhawk
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Chris, Kudzu grows naturally in Korea and it has survived temperatures as low as -30 C. Perhaps if you lived in the artic circle it would not be a problematic plant.

In the US the problem is that people don't view it as the edible it is. (when cooked up as greens it's quite tasty)
 
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