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pollinator
Posts: 155
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada -- Zone 5a
78
cat trees books cooking bee writing
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Had to do some chop and dropping today, so I thought I'd grab a BB at the same time...

This area had buckwheat that was maturing. I let it stay for a good long time (couple months?) so that it could shade the soil and blossom for the pollinators (they adored it and were always buzzing around... many different types). There's also a ton of Hopi Red Amaranth growing around. I've let that grow too, to act as shade, stabilize the soil, help in the drought, to eat leaves off of, and to play around using the florets for dye purposes. But time for some of this to come down and mulch the soil.

In the main area, I chopped the buckwheat and the amaranth with a knife and laid them down. I also brought in extra amaranth from another area of the garden. I laid the downed plants to build amazing soil, and surrounded a few plants--a few tomato plants, a row of soybeans in front of the tomatoes, and a volunteer cuke.

The main area I mulched was around the 50 sq. feet, but to be on the safe side, I mulched the extra area to make sure it was enough in total.

Pic 1. Main area before
2. Tomato and soybean area before
3. Main area after (tomato and cuke to right side of plot)
4. Tomato and soybean area after, with amaranth mulch in front

(Note--the bare soil garden in the background is my neighbour's!)

before-chop-and-drop.jpg
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before-chop-and-drop-2.jpg
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after-chop-and-drop.jpg
[Thumbnail for after-chop-and-drop.jpg]
after-chop-and-drop-2.jpg
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Staff note (Mike Barkley) :

I certify this BB is complete.

 
gardener
Posts: 1308
Location: Miami, 11a, Am, apartment dweller
874
8
hugelkultur kids forest garden trees books wofati cooking bike rocket stoves
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The Abbey hugels have more lamb's quarters than they want.

So I Chop 'n' Dropped it onto the roof
IMG_20200812_084406_1.jpg
So. Much. Lamb's Quarters.
So. Much. Lamb
IMG_20200812_084722_1.jpg
Spot before (with tape measure at 7'3)
Spot before (with tape measure at 7
IMG_20200812_084725_1.jpg
Tape measure closeup
Tape measure closeup
IMG_20200812_093555_1.jpg
Spot after
Spot after
IMG_20200813_092111_1.jpg
Spot after take 2, 85 inch square is fully mulched
Spot after take 2, 85 inch square is fully mulched
IMG_20200813_092120_1.jpg
Tape measures at 85"
Tape measures at 85"
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete!

 
Posts: 36
Location: Alberta, Canada (Zone 3)
34
5
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I want to smother the grass on this strip of earth behind the house so it doesn't have to be mowed to comply with bylaws. I mulched it with a mixture of grass, leaves and small tree branches that I hand-pulled or cut with large scissors elsewhere around the house. For longer term coverage and fertilizer, I transplanted some comfrey from the other fence line. The house on that side is being demolished and it needs re-grading so I may have saved the comfrey plant!

The space covered is 3.5 ft by 16 feet (56 square feet).
IMG_3261.jpg
Before
Before
IMG_3327.jpg
After
After
IMG_3328.jpg
Comfrey shoots
Comfrey shoots
Staff note (Mike Barkley) :

I certify this BB is complete. It also qualifies for the gardening air badge!

 
gardener
Posts: 814
Location: Durham, NC
338
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I scythed and dropped 60 square feet of mulch.

Here is the area before chopping and dropping:



And after:



Here are the length/width measurements:





Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete!

 
gardener
Posts: 1505
Location: Washington State
944
6
forest garden trees rabbit earthworks composting toilet fiber arts sheep wood heat woodworking rocket stoves homestead
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Earlier this week, while giving urine to growies, I discovered that a large branch (of the curly willow tree) had broken and was trapping debris on the roof of the house.  So I decided to climb on the roof and trim the tree - but what to do with all that lovely material?  Well, I am going to make a willow basket but that will take barely any.  I know, chop and drop!  Yeah.  This area is easily ignored (being difficult to get to) so the eastern neighbor's ivy and groundcover plants tend to take over.  The area is 27-ft wide along the house and 9-ft deep along the fence on the south side.

I covered an area 6-ft wide by about 9-ft deep - 54 sf.

So, while looking for great willow branches for the basket, I also sorted the material into "wood" and "twig" material.  The larger branches and the "wood" material went down first to help compact the weeds (plants that I don't want) then the smaller and leafy "twig" material. Since my neighbor's fig tree had some branches that needed trimming too, I added them to the chop and drop project.  Between the willow and fig, I covered about 52 square feet of this back area and I am looking for more ways to deter the ivy (which tries to grow up the walls of my home).

For perspective: Initially, I was standing at the southeast corner of the house on the 3-ft tall retaining wall next to a fence that my neighbor put on top of the retaining wall leaving only a 2-ft wide access to this back section.  In the fourth photo, I am several feet from the northeast corner of the house.
1.JPG
area with a few large branches starting to weigh down the unwanted plants
area with a few large branches starting to weigh down the unwanted plants
2.JPG
Willow and Fig branches have buried the ivy
Willow and Fig branches have buried the ivy
3.JPG
looking a bit to the left of the above photo to show willow, fig, and more unwanted plants to smother another day
looking a bit to the left of the above photo to show willow, fig, and more unwanted plants to smother another day
4.JPG
looking toward the fence that I was standing right next to in the previous photos - Hope you can see the tape measures.
looking toward the fence that I was standing right next to in the previous photos - Hope you can see the tape measures.
5.JPG
Close up of tape measure showing the area is 6-ft by ~9-ft
Close up of tape measure showing the area is 6-ft by ~9-ft
Staff note :

It's hard to tell how big the area is in the pictures.  Could you draw lines on the areas if they are fully shown in those pictures or back up to get the whole area in one shot?

Staff note :

Having a "before" picture is a requirement for this BB.  But the first picture is near the start of the process so I'll approve it.  Thanks for the tape measure pic!

Staff note (gir bot) :

jordan barton approved this submission.

 
Opalyn Rose
gardener
Posts: 1505
Location: Washington State
944
6
forest garden trees rabbit earthworks composting toilet fiber arts sheep wood heat woodworking rocket stoves homestead
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Opalyn Rose wrote:I covered an area 6-ft wide by about 9-ft deep - 54 sf.



I edited and added more photos to my post above for re-evaluation.  Thanks for the feedback!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1139
Location: Chicago
385
dog forest garden fish foraging urban cooking food preservation bike
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I chose two beds where I have overwintering vegetables-- a rectangular 16ft x 5 ft bed with garlic and some fall greens, and an adjacent triangular 7 x 4 x 8 ft bed with walking onions and struggling rhubarb.  So total area about 94 sq ft.

I chopped the leaves off nearby garlic chives and peonies, and pruned the adjacent forsythia and plum trees, then used these leaves and twigs to cover the vegetable beds.

view from north end of garlic bed loking toward onion bed before chop and drop


view from south end of onion bed looking towards garlic after chop and drop
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.

 
pollinator
Posts: 233
Location: North Island, New Zealand
282
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Our landlord requested we do some tree trimming, so I thought this was a good time to try some chop and drop.

The big branches were reserved for woodworking, plant stakes, and firewood, but this particular tree (a species of Pittosporum) has a lot of tough, thin, twiggy bits. We have more than enough kindling, so we nipped off everything less than about 5mm in diameter (~3/16"), and chucked it in a big pile. We could have used the small branches as-is, but instead nipped them into tiny pieces with hedge shears for aesthetical reasons. All hand tools--no power tools were used.

The garden I dropped the mulch in is a half-circle shape with a radius of 2 metres. Using πr^2, we get a full circle with area 12.56m^2, meaning our half circle is 6.28m^2 or ~67.6 ft^2.
mb-bb-gardening-sand-chopndrop-1.JPG
Chopping a hedge neglected by the previous tenants to a more manageable height & getting it off the shed
Chopping a hedge neglected by the previous tenants to a more manageable height & getting it off the shed
mb-bb-gardening-sand-chopndrop-2.JPG
The area pre- and post- dropping finely chopped twigs
The area pre- and post- dropping finely chopped twigs
mb-bb-gardening-sand-chopndrop-3.JPG
Measuring the radius of the garden bed
Measuring the radius of the garden bed
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Barkley approved this submission.

 
Posts: 35
Location: Zone 8: hard clay soil
3
forest garden foraging woodworking
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I was curious if chopping plant material onto the ground would invite disease or pathogens like listeria e.coli botulism salmonella? I had made a simple compost tea by putting food waste in water for a couple days and pouring the strained liquid around the garden plants but then started to worry about pathogens and disease from dead plant matter?
 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 3558
Location: Gulf of Mexico cajun zone 8
1858
cattle hugelkultur cat dog trees hunting chicken bee woodworking homestead ungarbage
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I think nothing in this world is risk free. In my opinion this method is very safe unless the plant material used already has disease or pathogens. I've used this technique for years & never noticed any problems with it. I don't think Paul or permies would recommend it otherwise. The material seems to break down rather quickly & I think disease needs live material to thrive.
 
I knew that guy would be trouble! Thanks tiny ad!
Our perennial nursery has sprouted!
https://permies.com/t/174246
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