It’s amazing how important mulch has become! It’s at the very heart of what we’re trying to create here – a ‘back to Eden food forest’ – and while we know this is probably going to take years, the groundwork is under way.
We met a couple of Brits recently, and probably the first like minded people we’ve met – and they live in Illar near us. They’ve been over here for more than ten years, although just a couple of years in Illar. When we said where we lived they said ‘oh yes, we’ve heard about you!’ 😂
They were saying that last year this area had just over 12 inches of rain all year, and that if you have under 10 inches you’re officially classified as a dessert – up until the recent storms we’d had just 4 inches. And this is why mulch and a good irrigation system are so important – the mulch helps to retain the moisture in the soil. It also keeps the weeds down as well as rotting down into compost – so naturally renewing the soil. Every time we cut some wood off the trees we’re out there chipping it to spread back under the trees – so far we’re about half way round, but only with a ring of mulch around the edge of the canopy – we need more! A quick solution would be to get a layer of hay down in the ground, which we can then add to with the wood chips.
We’ve got a lot of pruning to do over the next few months so that will help – we did the apricot tree and cut about 10 ft off the height – it had grown so high it would be impossible to get to the fruit next year – we may have fewer apricots next May but this hard prune should stand us in good stead for the future – we need to train the trees back to a manageable size. We’ve done some of the almonds and half a dozen orange trees – so only about 75 trees left to do 😂
I suppose we could also put the word about that we’re after more wood – most of the local farmers seem to burn their pruned wood (and then walk away from the ash, which is criminal really as that back under the trees works wonders!)
The vetiver we planted recently now have a layer of mulch around them and it looks like we’re going to be out there a lot with a hose over the next few months unless we start getting some rain!