Peanuts are not very expensive, they are good for birds and they can be used to mulch your garden's black parts during winter.
| posted on Thu, 03 Aug 2006, 15:50 | weblog | rss | spin-off | comments |
I recently tried the shells of whole peanuts as a substitute for mulching with freshly shredded wood. As far as I can tell, it is pulled into the soil, on which it has no negative impact, nor does it negatively influence the crops growing in it. As for the long-term advantages caused by the slow decay of woody materials, I cannot tell.
Peanuts as we buy them for consumption are usually roasted, so it certainly is no standard manure. This makes me wonder if it would be possible to grow peanuts in one's own garden, in the Netherlands. I still have to find out about that.
In the Netherlands where winter nights can be frosty down to about -10 degrees Centigrade, peanuts are commonly offered to birds during winter, to compensate for our takeover of the grounds from which they would otherwise dig up insects. When snow falls, birds can survive on this peanutbutter diet.
The combination of this peanut offering with mulching seems to make a lot of sense. It keeps ground life active during the barren days of winter, it offers seeds to birds and the attraction of ground insects may also be advantageous to birds. In return, we may get birds' songs, a bit of their quick manure and a lively garden.
Growing your own peanuts is also a good idea. It binds aerial nitrogen so it can also function as a green manure, insasfar as it is not eaten. I do not know how much of its nutrients are lost when the peanuts are consumed instead of returned to the soil.
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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