The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Less well known dynamic accumulators

Tomato mulched with mixed weeds.Although comfrey is a well-known dynamic accumulator, there are plenty of other plants which serve a similar function.  The Oregon Biodynamic Group has a very useful table of dynamic accumulators and the micronutrients they concentrate

Reading over the chart, I'm drawn to two weeds which already grow well in my "yard" --- broadleaf plantain and dandelions.  Both accumulate six (or more) micronutrients and spring right back after hard cutting.  Plantain has the added bonus of growing very well in high traffic areas where most plant life fades away.

In fact, between harvesting comfrey, dandelions, and plantain, I'd come up with all except four of the 15 listed micronutrients.  With the help our our new mulching lawnmower, I've been adding cuttings from these and other weeds around the base of our strawberries and tomatoes to help the soil rebound.  I also feed my soil manure, which is reported to be a good source of all micronutrients except boron and zinc.

I'm as guilty as everyone else of thinking "nitrogen, nitrogen, nitrogen!"  But just as I'd never serve a meal without some fruits or vegetables on the side, I think we need to stay aware of micronutrients as we feed our gardens.

This post is part of our Micronutrient lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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