Wednesday, 3 December 2014

How To Mulch A Permaculture Food Forest With 'Chop & Drop'

Hello!  Are you planning to create a permaculture food forest garden?  Then you may have heard of this method called 'chop and drop'.  A way of mulching your food forest garden.

What is Chop & Drop?

It's about having a variety of so called 'support' trees (legumes and other fast growing trees)  in your food forest and when time is right you prune a whole or a part of the tree in the ground around your fruit trees.

The best 'chop and drop' trees and plants are legumes (nitrogen fixing) and the trees that have a large biomass and grow back quickly after  pruning. e.g Moringa , Comfrey (herbaceous plant)

Let's look at the benefits of Chop and Drop method:
  • In the early stages of your food forest some of your fruit trees are slow growing and need protection from elements such as the sun, wind and rain (hale).  Planting fast growing legumes you give needed protection and nutrients for your young fruit trees.
  • You are creating mulch (nutrition) that feeds the soil microbes which feed your fruit trees 
  • Easy and simple method - plants are already in place where the mulch is needed
  • You are building a soil with a good soil structure - a better water holding capacity and well draining soil
  • Mulch protects the soil from the elements (sun, rain, wind)
  • This way you save on other organic fertilizers
The chop and drop method is one of the important steps in caring for your food forest.  Here is a fantastic video on Chop & Drop, it comes from EcoOasis titled with How To Chop And Drop In A Food Forest "Living Permaculture" Episode 4


Hope you enjoyed this post.  Do you have experience in chop & drop? Let us know in the comment box below :-) 

Heli & Allan Iso-Aho

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