M Troyka wrote:
Use of cobble mulch augments, traps, and retains available runoff moisture, elevates nighttime temperatures, and decreases soil erosion.
James Slaughter wrote:I think another thing worth considering about rock mulch is that by reducing absorbent surface area you get better water penetration when it does rain.
Why do you say that? The named varieties can be quite productive. The short shelf life is a downside, but the pulp can be frozen for use in baking and in smoothies. Fruit that are just starting to soften can be kept in the fridge for a couple weeks. With a couple varieties that ripen at different times, you can have fruit for a couple months.
I have only seen a couple wild stands, and the only herbaceous plant in the vicinity I recall was mayapple.
Since they are pest free, insectary plants for attracting parasitic wasps et al are probably not as high a priority in a paw paw guild as they would be for other fruit trees, unless you can come up with something that attracts the flies that pollinate pawpaw flowers. They can be slow to get going, and can take several years to reach fruiting size, but respond well to nitrogen, so N-fixers should be a priority. Pawpaws want to grow a deep branching tap root, so if your soil is dense, add plants that are good at breaking up soil.