Yukon, I like the idea of using what is available in our own region. Here is something I stumbled upon by accident. I purchased some bags of compost last year as I needed some filler for one of my garden beds. I purchased it from (of all places) Ace Hardware. It is really topsoil with lots of sawdust mixed in. I let it winter over and this is what I found:
Whatever mushrooms in our area popped up all over the bed and there is now living mycelium, solid from corner to corner and about an inch thick, very solid. I'm thinking if I want to put one in the ground next year and grow another tree, I can prepare the ground and my soil, toss more Ace Hardware compost over it and in spring, plant my seeds.
Here is something you might be interested in, or already know, but: Comfrey (taken from wikipedia)
There are various ways in which comfrey can be used as a fertilizer. These include:
- Comfrey as a compost activator – include comfrey in the compost heap to add nitrogen and help to heat the heap. Comfrey should not be added in quantity as it will quickly break down into a dark sludgy liquid that needs to be balanced with more fibrous, carbon-rich material.
- Comfrey as a mulch or side dressing – a two-inch layer of comfrey leaves placed around a crop will slowly break down and release plant nutrients; it is especially useful for crops that need extra potassium, such as fruit bearers but also reported to do well for potatoes. Comfrey can be slightly wilted before application optionally but either way, avoid using flowering stems as these can root.
- Comfrey as a companion plant for trees and other perennials – soil tests confirm that soil nutrients increase in the presence of comfrey even when it is not used as mulch, side dressing, or liquid fertilizer, but just allowed to grow.
- Comfrey potting mixture – originally devised to utilize peat, now environmental awareness has led to a leaf mold-based alternative being adopted instead; two-year-old, well decayed leaf mold should be used, this will absorb the nutrient-rich liquid released by the decaying comfrey. In a black plastic sack alternate 7–10 cm (2.8–3.9 in) layers of leaf mold and chopped comfrey leaves. Add a little dolomitic limestone to slightly raise pH. Leave for between 2–5 months depending on the season, checking that it does not dry out or become too wet. The mixture is ready when the comfrey leaves have rotted and are no longer visible. Use as a general potting compost, although it is too strong for seedlings.
I don't know if Comfrey is native to our area, but sure looks interesting.
Great thread Yukon, hope we can keep it going.
Peace, God bless