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

Midwinter mulching

Kayla spreading leaves as mulch in the middle of Winter

What did we do with all of those bags of birthday leaves?

A good chunk of them got spread as mulch during a warm spell on Friday.

Funny how a fruit tree looks a little happier with a thick layer of mulch at its base.

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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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I've noticed quite a few posts where you two mulch somewhat established trees. I have a 5-6 years of gardening under my belt but know little about fruit trees--and for that matter have a lot of learning when it comes to horticulture in general. Could you please explain to me why you mulch the trees?
Comment by Dave Mon Jan 20 11:22:33 2014
Dave --- By mulching an established tree, you prevent competition with weeds, of course, but you also promote a fungally dominated soil. Fungi will help the tree be much better nourished, especially when it comes to finding phosphorous. I don't have definite data, but my gut says that will result in more nutrient-dense fruits for us, and in a healthier tree. I have noticed that, even among older fruit trees, the ones I manage to mulch grow faster and produce more than those that I don't, so I try to mulch when I have the time and materials.
Comment by anna Mon Jan 20 12:00:17 2014

Anna, Thanks for the quick reply. That makes perfect sense. I have a lot to learn..and following your blog I'm learning a lot.

Comment by Dave Tue Jan 21 11:02:26 2014

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