Experiment: Alfalfa as a Fence
Lucerne or Alfalfa grows fast and to 1-2 meters high, and its roots can
go a few meters deep. This makes it a very attractive way of shielding
off one's gardening domain.
| posted on Thu, 03 Aug 2006, 15:29 | weblog | rss | spin-off | comments |
Vertaal naar het Nederlands
Using Alfalfa as a border marker has a few interesting properties:
- It roots very deeply, and can thus recover nutrients from deeply
burried soil layers;
- Being a Legume, it fixates nitrogen from the air, making it an excellent
green manure to spread over the garden itself;
- It is a perennial, so it need not be replanten continually if
- Unlike the green manure clover, it is not subject to the problematic
- Having a green manure grow in an otherwise unused place is a good way
of avoiding any conflict with the actual crops grown;
- The height of Alfalfa makes it a good wind breaker;
It is probably best not to harvest Alfalfa all the way to the ground,
because it would stop being a wind breaker. It is probably smarter
to cut it at a height of half a meter or so. The right time is probably
what is generally believed to be good, when about 10% of the flower show.
During frost in winter, Alfalfa freezes to death from the ground up,
without need for human intervention. It should come back the next year.
Questions to answer:
- What is the best way to harvest Alfalfa?
- How to ensure that it revitalises itself?
- Are moles kept out by the long roots? That would be bad.
- Are rats and mice kept out by the long roots? That would be good.
- Are chemicals pulled up from low layers of soil? That would be bad.
- Is erosion avoided by the deeply rooting Alfalfa borders?
I will update this page when I know more. I'll have to try it first.
If you have experiences with this idea, please let me know!
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