Some Fruit Trees

Last fall I set up a sheet mulch (for family) to try to convert some grass to decent soil for planting. It’s really amazing to see how well it worked: the earthworms, pillbugs, and the rest have eaten through the cardboard so thoroughly that there isn’t any trace of it left, and the soil is very alive. (Previously the soil was rock hard clay.)

A little over a month ago, I planted a Reed avocado tree (that I got from a nearby couple who raises them in their backyard) in the middle of the sheet mulch:

I also hadn’t tried doing a hot compost pile before. (I’ve done plenty of slow compost piles, but they usually take such a long time to produce good compost that I never harvest them for soil.) So I set one up in another corner of that yard using all the tree trimmings, leaves, grass, etc. I could accumulate. And just for an added touch, I built it all as a hugelkultur bed, with old pieces of oak and other wood someone was getting rid of (you can see a bit of it sticking out here):

I covered the pile for several weeks and it really did get hot and decay down pretty well. On top, I planted a dwarf orange tree (a Trovita, which is supposed to produce well in coastal climates) that wasn’t doing too well in a pot but seems to be happy planted in the pile:

Those big leaves I’ve thrown down for mulch under both trees are from comfrey that I planted just a couple of months ago in another spot. (The comfrey is the Bocking 14 variety that I got from here, which is sterile so it won’t take over.) I had heard how fast comfrey grows, and thought “there’s no way it’ll grow in the clay hardpan” but it proved me wrong (the picture is after I cut tons of leaves and branches to use as mulch):

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Responses to “Some Fruit Trees”

  1. This is OT for your “perspiration” post, but in case you’re not following Damien Perrotin’s “The View from Brittany” blog, here’s a post that looks to be relevant to your “Computing in the Long Emergency” posts: http://theviewfrombrittany.blogspot.com/2012/06/eliott-effect.html

  2. Don -

    Cool – I’ll check it out!