Heritage and Rare Fruit Network14 December at 21:26 ·
Can anyone sell me some comfrey or horse radish root pieces to plant under fruit trees? I'm putting in a repository orchard and intend putting in three steel posts around each tree with wire netting to protect them so I can run merino sheep in the orchard to keep grass down. I would like to try different plants under the trees inside inside the wire netting to hopefully out compete flammable grasses where the sheep can't reach. what else should I try?
- Lisa Burley Neville Burley has lots of clumps of comfrey. I'm sure he will tell you to come and dig some up.
14 December at 21:33 ·
- Susan Purdy I have horseradish and comfrey to spare?14 December at 21:44
- Liz Cecil I have both also.14 December at 21:51 ·
- Ben Waite Take some horse radish. Please!14 December at 21:51
- Ben Waite while you're at it,take some raspberries... Those two are currently fighting a pitched battle for dominance of my 'path'...14 December at 21:55 · Edited ·
- Amity Grace Griffiths Ive got some comfrey i can send. I also put borage. Speaking of comfrey,,, i few if my newly planted fruit trees had curly leaf disease. I planted a variety of different things under them. The ones i planted with comfrey, were cured of curly leaf. I thought it may have been a coincidence. So i planted comfrey under the one left with curly leaf and a few weeks later its cured too!14 December at 21:57 ·
- Neil Barraclough Thanks Amity, I was initially going to plant it under apples and pears but will try some under my Sherman Early peach, the most prone to curly leaf. Will message everyone tomorrow night, thanks everyone you are a loverly bunch.14 December at 22:00 ·
- Neville Burley I've got heaps Neil Barraclough including one or two growing in the wrong spot you're welcome to some :)14 December at 22:11
- Scott D Lamshed We have heaps of Borage Neil Barraclough and the W Tree nursery does really nice Comfrey at great prices if you need a lot.14 December at 22:20 ·
- Scott D Lamshed And you could take cuttings of the early cherry plum at the same time :-)14 December at 22:21 ·
- Neville Burley I should add no charge14 December at 22:25 ·
- Kevin Brewer Carrots are good, and turnips. We used to have our house firebreak planted to carrots and turnips, and it was a fine place to do some grazing of a late afternoon while one did some homework.14 December at 22:32
- Viorica Manea I think,you will need access under your trees.They don't really like competition in their root zone ,Put some old straw around your trees14 December at 22:53 ·
- Kym Stroud Smith having great success with comfrey under my trees. I think it adds a lot of calcium to the top layers as it breaks down. I started with a few pieces from one plant, broke it up and a few months later it was at the level I wanted it, is everywhere.... borage, well, you only ever need one plant really. I also use nasturtiums with the borage. Horseradish still in a pot. dare I plant it out? And if so, Susan, sun or shade?Yesterday at 06:52 ·
- Neville Burley I have seen the results of planting comfrey under hazelnuts, one lot with and one lot without. The group with the comfrey were nearly twice the size and really healthy. Under apples I think it would work well as they love calcium and increase the humus effect under the trees rapidly over the years. I drop my crop of comfrey when I'm feeling fit about four or five times during the year or one if I'm not and it's easy to do. The bees really love the flowers too, Bonus.Yesterday at 07:02 ·
- Kym Stroud Smith agree. I am just starting to see growth of comfrey on the stage 2 orchard. It's a little slower there, as the soil is not as good, but we are getting there....slowly. You lots inspire me to work harder at it! Yesterday at 07:04
- LadyJane Canaway You probably get enough rain by you for this but I'd be worried about competition - both comfrey and horseradish can soak up a lot of water. Maybe that's a good thing if drainage is poor?Yesterday at 07:51 ·
- Warwick Allan Bone Rhubarb is also good under Apples, and the post-harvest leaves help acidify the soil slightly for the Apple trees.
Michael Phillips talks about orchard under-stories in the book/dvd Holistic Orchard, highly recommended.Yesterday at 09:11 ·
- Amity Grace Griffiths Warwick how far from root zone should we plant rhubarb?Yesterday at 09:54 ·
- Warwick Allan Bone Hmmm, good question. I would say about a meter or so.Yesterday at 10:23 ·
- Cheryl Wedding I have found that growing comfrey and rhubarb are great planted under trees as they help to break up very heavy or clay soils to help root penetration for the trees. I have them planted in between trees in long beds. Yesterday at 10:26 ·
- Susana Bateson I have plenty of comfrey and will have some rhubarb crowns next June, borage also if anyone needs some.Give not sell - would rather share. Will move some comfrey to my Trixie mini peach as it has curly leaf- never had it here before I brought that one. It also shoots from below the graft often too.22 hrs · Edited ·
- Sallyann Leeson Got heaps if you want some neil23 hrs ·
- Robert Millet I avoid digging among tree roots by using tubs under trees--I still get good crops of veggies and other plants while the frut tree shades and protects the tub crops. and no digging at all.23 hrs ·
- Sallyann Leeson comfrey that is23 hrs ·
- Ben Waite It's taken a few years, but my licorice has started to clump up. No sure that It would exclude grass on It's own. But It's a hardy, fixes nitrogen, could probably compete with comfrey ad horseradish and can be cut for fodder, so you should be able to drop the whole lot for mulch still.22 hrs · Like · 3
- Susana Bateson Ben Waite are you talking about Glycyrrhiza glabra? I would like to know what conditions it likes to grow in.22 hrs ·
- Ben Waite Yep, I am :)
Apparently it grows OK in semi-arid, salt affected, degraded sandy soils... http://wle.cgiar.org/.../sweet-solution-licorice-could.../
I don't have that sort of soil, thankfully. More an nice acid loam, a bit on the clayey side and it grows fine. They really don't do anything for 2 years, then they grow like mad.
I think it likes reasonably fertile and moist sandy soil for the best quality roots, but it is pretty tough on anything but heavy clay. You will still get perfectly good roots to use.
I have a pot full plants from root cuttings I took in winter if anyone wants some, however just sending some dormant root cuttings would probably be easier. Or they can be ordered from Parrs Nursery for $5 each or thereabouts.
There is a related native, Glycyrrhiza acanthocarpa which might be worth a run but I don't know if the root is edible.
I actually found this when I was trying to find out, on native Australian legumes with potential as seed crops. May be worth a read through.
https://www.google.com.au/search...Sweet Solution? Licorice could reclaim degraded lands - Agriculture and...An estimated 11 percent of total irrigated land is affected by high salinity. Licorice could be a low-cost land rehabilitation option in Central Asia.wle.cgiar.org21 hrs · Edited ·
- Ben Waite It says the native one is resistant to drought and water logging once established.21 hrs ·
- Amity Grace Griffiths Ben I have degraded sandy soil. This plant sounds perfect for me. Nitrogen fixing and fodder for my goats and cows. Id love some roots when it suits you. Im happy to pay or swap for Loganberry and Raspberry plants. If it's ok to send them in mail.21 hrs ·
- Ben Waite You can have some, if you promise not to send me any raspberries or loganberries... I'm going to spend half my weekend slashing back ones I have that are out of control... I think that dormant cuttings in winter would be best to post.21 hrs · Like · 4
- Amity Grace Griffiths Lol....i won't then...lol...Thankyou. ill wait till winter. Ill send you my details. 21 hrs ·
- Neville Burley Include me in that Ben Waite, but I could send you something else you may be interested in like midyim berry plant or even better the hybrid coppertop midyim berry if you like :)20 hrs ·
- Ben Waite We better start keeping a list of trades Neville ;)
I've got patches coming up meters from where they should be and 2 Inch root cuttings work well, so plenty to go around :)
Was It you who wanted the kusaie lime seeds? No seeds but lots of seedlings.19 hrs · Like
- Neville Burley They sound interesting probably was, a trade could be in order. I do have other things here as well if the austromyrtus aren't interesting :)19 hrs · Like
- Mary Connor I have lots of both those weeds you can have😀. I keep trying to dig them out of my Garden. Perhaps I could pay you to take them away!17 hrs · Like · 1
- Neville Burley Which plants Mary Connor?17 hrs · Like
- Ben Waite Not sure what midyim I have TBH. Do they all look coppery? :D
I'm sure we can work out some trades before winter Neville :)15 hrs · Like
- Mary Connor From Neil's post...horseradish and comfrey. Neville Burley
Another companion plant is horehound which is also a weed.😀 keeps away codling moth and was used in all the orchards around old houses in the Tambo valley following info from
(Marrubium Vulgare) like many varieties in the mint family, the many tiny flowers attract Braconid and Icheumonid wasps, and Tachnid and Syrid flies. The larval forms of these insects parasitize or otherwise consume many other insects pests. It grows where many others fail to thrive and can survive harsh winters. Blooms over a long season, attracting beneficial insects almost as long as you are likely to need them. For best results use horehound directly as a companion plant. Stimulates and aids fruiting in tomatoes and peppers.Companion PlantingFollowing is a our plant guide (with some tips) to help you "work in harmony with nature." Yes- we do practice...ghorganics.com14 hrs · Like · 2 · Remove Preview
- Neville Burley Sorry Mary Connor I wasn't sure if you meant Neil's or Ben's plants, just confirming.7 hrs · Like
- Neville Burley They all have a coppery top Ben Waite, Coppertop is just darker and the fruit is nicer apparently never tried it though only the normal one.7 hrs · Like
- Ilse Aschenbrenner Dogbane under citrus, but not sure about other trees.3 hrs · Like
- Susana Bateson LOL When I lived in the Wimmera I offered some Horehound as a swap plant and got flamed because it is such a weed. No one seemed to know a useful plant it can be if kept contained. A weed is only a weed if planted in the wrong place is my motto....and I consider myself a responsible gardener but not an over- the- top radical one.LOL Now I am down in the South West and gardening is different from the dry country where it just would not grow for me, I would love to try Ben Waite 's Licorice ( Liquorice?) as well and your Horehound. I may be too fertile for licorice but worth a try.