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Pomace as understory mulch

Posted by Steve Dagger 
Pomace as understory mulch
April 13, 2020 01:30PM
A simple technique I've begun experimenting with the past few years is to randomly compost the pulp left from pressing cider in the peripheral zone of bearing trees with the intuition that the returned organic matter will be conducive to improving both the profile of desirable nutrients and micro-organisms. I initially wondered about adverse effects on soil pH or creating conditions favorable to pathogenic fungi, bacteria or insect pests but, so far, I have not noticed any obvious problems though I haven't done any comparative soil tests or data collection. I mix the pulp lightly with existing litter and prunings and don't lay it on too thick in any one spot and it seems to break down relatively quickly.

As a holistically oriented grower a primary objective of mine is to let nature do as much of the work as possible. The "theory" behind this simple technique is that the microbial diversity present on my organic apples, much of which would survive in the pomace, will go on to create spores that would contribute to effective arboreal microbe populations in addition to the decomposing pulp returning nutrients essential for plant health to the soils in the orchard understory. Weather variation from year to year will certainly influence which microbial populations and decomposers flourish and which don't but starting with diverse populations that have already proven adapted should push the dynamics in a favorable direction. That's my theory anyway.

Pommes de Terre Acres
USDA Zone 6a - Dixon, Montana
Intermountain West Region

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/20/2020 11:43AM by Steve Dagger.
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