chop and drop

We’ve got a lot of rushes on the croft hill. This hardy plant is part and parcel of succession after clearfell. Like many elements we’ve grown to appreciate the rushes for their role in soil stabilisation after clearfell, for the habitat they provide for ground nesting birds and other small mammals and insects, and protecting young tree sapplings from the onlsaught of the cold easterly winds. That said, in the long term we don’t want rushes to take over the ground and shrub layer. As we plant up the forest garden we’re freeing up these layers using the chop and drop method using the rushes to mulch themselves or mulch the fruit trees and bushes. As this was a sheep hill for many years prior to its short life as a plantation, we’re finding the chop and drop areas pass into grassland after a couple of cutbacks.

As well as mulching, we’ve also used the cut rushes as hen bedding which in turn gets composted and used as mulch around the blackcurrents and gooseberries with the added nutrients from the hen manure feeding the soil with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium .

#valuebiologicalresources #cyclenutrients #accelerate succession

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