Sustainable suppy of mulch?

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by Glen from Carwoola, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. Glen from Carwoola

    Glen from Carwoola Junior Member

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    I have been trying to find a fast growing crop that can produce a sustainable amount of biomass for mulch. It would have to grow in the Canberra area with little additional water. It seems to me that most productive organic farms have to bring organic material in from other sources but how sustainable is that going to be when demand increases? What is the fastest way of increasing biomass (in the form of humus and mulch) on a property without bringing it in from elsewhere?
     
  2. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Re: Sustainable suppy of mulch?

    Suppy?

    What about acacias? get the quick growing ones and chip them up for mulch

    Green manures?
    grass clippings.
    Composting toilets.
    worm farm/castings.
    Composting.
     
  3. raincrow

    raincrow Junior Member

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    I don't know if there is a solution to this one, even in permaculture. A totally closed system seems to be very difficult. I have thought a lot about how to create more mulch than I use but no solution so far. I think cover crops that produce seed that you could save might work. Rocks make good mulch but not organic matter. The human manure that does not get returned to the land keeps all those nutrients out of the loop. Anybody out there that has a healthy closed system?
     
  4. Burra Maluca

    Burra Maluca Junior Member

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    I've had the same problem here, but I've found that at the start it takes *ages* to persuade much to grow so I've been getting as much mulch as I can lay my hands on from any source to 'kick-start' the process, and I'll gradually cut down as things get going. Eventually there will be so many trees that the whole lot will be 'auto-mulching', but until then I've been using straw, sawdust, olive pommace, anything I can lay my hands on to get the soil healthy. It doesn't have to be forever, but it does help speed things up a bit until you can be self-sustaining.
     
  5. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    I'm with "G" on Acacias,,,or beer cans

    I'm with Grahame,
    Acacias............fast, leguminous, local---easy.

    or beer cans...which don't actually grow...but it is fun keeping up the supply.

    Wife: are you on the piss again?
    Me: for the garden hon, mulch!

    regards,
    Kimbo
     
  6. Evan

    Evan Junior Member

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    Are you talking about mulch for a garden, orchard or farm? For a garden I would suggest initially buying something like pea straw and then using the biomass of the veggies you grow as your mulch from then on. Just make sure you tuck the freshly cut plant stalks and leaves underneath the existing mulch layer so that you don't lose all the nitrogen to the air. If you are growing lots of plants you should have enough biomass.
    The methods for supplying mulch to an orchard or food forest are well laid out it Geoff Lawton's "Establishing a Food Forest: The Permaculture Way" that system is a self regenerating, soil building system.
    If its a farm then you could try Peter Andrews method of letting all the weeds grow until you are ready to crop and then slash them and use them as mulch, seems to work for him and many others.
     

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