Chop and drop
One of the simplest things that you can do to help increase the fertility on your site is “chop-and-drop”. The premise is simple, when you prune anything, simply lay that cutting on the ground at the foot of a tree or other plant you are cultivating. This will begin to decay and the nutrient in the material will feed the other plant, it’s mulch. It seems like commonsense but like so many other things we’ve been conditioned to bag cuttings up and put them on the side of the road so someone else will come along and carry them off to somewhere else, using lots of fuel in the process.
Lots of people instinctively rake their pine straw up and put it around their trees because they realize the benefits of pine straw as a mulch. So if so many can see the benefits of straw as a mulch why is it such a stretch for folks to see that all biomass has the same qualities? It seems absurd to set lawn clippings, twigs, sticks and other cuttings out in paper bags made from trees to be hauled off and then turn around and apply chemical fertilizers to those same plants. The cuttings are the best fertilizer. It’s how nature works. A forest grows on a fallen forest.
I see evidence all around of weeds that have been sprayed with chemicals. The weeds are still standing except now they’re brown and dead. Does that look better? It would have taken less time to simply chop and drop the weeds to the ground and let them nourish the surrounding area as they break down.
But some how they’ve managed to convince us that it’s a simpler process to:
- Travel to box store $.
- Purchase chemicals $.
- Travel home with chemicals $.
- Mix chemicals in sprayer (don’t breathe vapors).
- Don protective clothing (or not) spray chemicals on weeds.
- Wait…a week.
- Weed dies.
- Weed has not gone away, now it’s just bright yellow. (And the area that looks like it’s been burned is so pleasing on the eyes! Yay, we win!)
Well, now you’ve got toxins in your environment that don’t just go away, it ends up in the groundwater.
Chop and drop.