Conserving valuable resources for late season plants


#1

As many of you are aware we can pick up some deals on orchard plants this time of year ranging from $3- $10 each. Kansas has an excess of plants right now due to 6 “ or less of rainfall in my part of the state for the yearly total. Question is what do you water and fertilize these plants with? My solution is to reuse the grey water from dishes Etc. to water my new seaberries. I’m saving kitchen compost to top dress them when I plant them out later. Right now water and fertilizer are both very limited. Using chemical fertilizer when I plant these out is not an option because it causes high growth which causes plant damage during winter.


If your not familiar with the seaberry, where I got the plants etc see this thread Sea Buckthorn Juice and there is more valuable seaberry information in this thread Seaberry. I will try and use these seaberries at my farm later as no spray fruits that fix nitrogen Non traditional Orchard methods similar to how I use autumn olives Planning on a big autumn olive harvest and buffalo berries. I use cover crops that fix nitrogen Cover crop and mulch recommendations and whenever possible fruiting shrubs that fix nitrogen. Once this type of nitrogen fixing system is started very little or no input is needed.


#2

i compost all my scraps/ coffee grinds thru my compost worms. makes very rich worm castings. they also get a lot of my comfrey. i also dry and powder my comfrey for a convenient organic fertilizer that has a NPK the same as expensive organic fertilizers. every one should grow comfrey. i have 7 big bushes that give me all the fertilizer need, for my my 30+ plants. they mine nutrients deep down in the soil where other plants roots can’t reach with a 12ft. taproot. a no maintenance tough as nails plant.


#3

I have wanted to start growing comfrey and borage, just haven’t gotten around to it. Too many things to keep up with!!! Anyway, I definitely need to start them next spring. Great advice. Our native forbs and grasses have huge root systems too, 12’-15’ is pretty normal.


#4

Another way I conserve resources in when I mow I mulch my trees at the same time. I start in the middle of the row and mow throwing my grass clippings back towards my trees with each pass. On a year like this it’s the difference between my new trees living or dying. Without the grasses as compost and mulch these trees will die for lack of water and nutrients. Guess where the snow will stop when the wind blows this winter? Yes the snow will drift around my trees supplying them with more melt water. The mulched grass will hold moisture and when it breaks down next spring it nourishes these new pear trees in this orchard. This grass I’m using is mostly 3 types of clover, brome, and rescue but can have weeds in it also.


#5

You can see by this thread http://www.growingfruit.org/t/leona-pear/6481/24 I use nitrogen fixing bushes such as autumn olives as mulch also around my pear trees. I’ve used nearly everything to mulch my pears http://www.growingfruit.org/t/pond-moss-as-mulch/2481/6