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any thoughts on growing mulch ?

as in this linky

i was wondering what folk have under their top fruit trees?

does mulching matter?

what might be better?

and any other mulchy advice gratefully received.

We mulched all ours when we planted about 4" of compost. Got nothing to compare to but there's plenty of research that says any mulch of organic matter helps in lots of ways
Mistress Rose

I don't see why sedges would be any better than grass round trees, and in the early years they don't want the competition. If you want to be native in the UK, wood sedge is about 6-9" high and is quite nice. It will grow in shade, but will be in clumps.

ta mulching it is then, i will look into what might be available, i do need enough of it for quite a few trees .

I think that article is talking about sedge taking away the need for mulch, in a landscaping sense. That is to say that it's a strong competitor and won't many weeds through.

Isn't that the same reason we don't want grass growing too closely to our fruit trees, because they're strong competitors?

I've heard this guy speak:

Anyhow, he pushes two thoughts.
One is to chip smallish diameter branches/coppice (I forget what size exactly he targets) because it has a relatively high cambium & phloem to wood ratio. His thinking is that because the cambium should be relatively nutrient and sugar rich, you're providing more food for the mycorrhizae that will then feed your trees.

The other is to use old sheetrock (AKA drywall, aka gypboard) as a weed suppressing mulch as it provides calcium and sulfur and doesn't fiddle with your pH. The boric acid that treats the paper breaks down well enough outdoors, and subsequently supplies boron (which is lacking in our part of the world). I believe that boric acid also precludes some organic certification and is why he no longer worries about "official" organic status.

I've also heard of comfrey and alfalfa intercrops used a "fertility patch" where one can apply their composting toilet production, and (when appropriate time has passed since winter fertilizing) cut the plants and apply them as a mulch bringing lots of fertility to wherever they are applied. I think this is usually more for veg and berries however as you want a longer lasting mulch for orchard. But I think this is always worth bringing up as it pairs nicely with a humanure system for closing one's nutrient cycle without direct application.

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