Why Composting is Stupid

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Re: Why Composting is Stupid

Postby EddieS » Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:39 pm

Thread necro time.


I've run a trial on a practice called chop and drop. This entails growing nitrogen fixing plants. Digging a trench in front of them, chopping them off, burying the chopped plant.

One of the best plants for this is broad beans (aka fava beans). These are the best bean ever imho. This plant has nodules on the roots that store atmospheric nitrogen. By leaving the roots in place but cutting off the plant they are feeding. That nitrogen becomes available to other nearby roots. Burying the bodies of the fave beans in a trench about a foot deep in front of the stumps, then covering with a few inches of soil also creates a nice compost layer over time. Which equals more food.

So I did this, and planted tomatoes on the trench. Tomatoes are a bit fussy with their nitrogen usage. So I thought they might go well having the nodules to draw on themselves rather than forcing nitrogen on them via manure or fertilizer.

My tomatoes are usually pretty good anyway. But this year they are awesome. In just two months, I have already harvested some fruit. It is incredibly rich in flavour and larger in size than normal.

So, chop and drop. Give it a whirl. Especially on those nitrogen loving fast growing spring and summer crops. I'm thinking strawberries will thrive using this method also.

Other nitrogen fixing annuals you can use are: bush beans, runner beans, yard long beans, and snap peas.
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Re: Why Composting is Stupid

Postby mongolking » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:31 pm

EddieS wrote:Thread necro time.


I've run a trial on a practice called chop and drop. This entails growing nitrogen fixing plants. Digging a trench in front of them, chopping them off, burying the chopped plant.

One of the best plants for this is broad beans (aka fava beans). These are the best bean ever imho.


Agreed. I made a lot of use of broad beans back when I was establishing my gardens. Unlike other beans, they grow all through the winter, and are ready to crop here in November - just in time to plant out the soil they used for summer crops.
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Re: Why Composting is Stupid

Postby EddieS » Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:09 pm

mongolking wrote:
EddieS wrote:Thread necro time.


I've run a trial on a practice called chop and drop. This entails growing nitrogen fixing plants. Digging a trench in front of them, chopping them off, burying the chopped plant.

One of the best plants for this is broad beans (aka fava beans). These are the best bean ever imho.


Agreed. I made a lot of use of broad beans back when I was establishing my gardens. Unlike other beans, they grow all through the winter, and are ready to crop here in November - just in time to plant out the soil they used for summer crops.


Not only are they hardy and easy to grow in most climates. But they are nutritionally magnificent. Protein, fibre and carbs, and high levels of magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, phosphorus , and almost all the b vitamins. It seems they are good at preventing Parkinson's and dementia via naturally occurring Ldopa.

They are useable at all stages of cropping. Young beans can be eaten whole and raw a bit like a snow pea. Mid beans are great for making into snacks (fry in coconut oil and salt), and stir frying as they are a more tender version of the mature bean.

The mature bean preserves beautifully by; drying, canning, freezing, grinding into flour, or pickling. I believe they are also readily fermentable into a spicy paste.
You can also leave them on the plant to dry and brown off for seed.

If food independence is a goal of your gardening. Broad beans should be one of the first things on the list.
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