No-waste tree planting

Sorry for letting multiple days go by between posts but gardening season preparations are in full swing right during a very busy time of year for me at work!

This past weekend I planted fifty evergreen seedlings – 10 Norway Spruce, 10 Douglas Firs, 10 White Firs, 5 Ponderosa Pines, 10 Loblolly Pines, and 5 White Pines – in bare spots in our woods where I’ve cut down the evil, invasive Autumn Olive monster shrubs.  I thought I would show you the planting method I used.

One of the tenets of permaculture is “create no waste”, which fits well with my lifelong desire to be a good steward of both God’s garden and my family’s resources.  I thought I would show you my “create no waste” method of planting these little seedlings.  Until they are the size of saplings (older than about three years of age), I don’t want them to be overrun by forest plants, but I also don’t want to spend a fortune on boughten* mulch or spend a ton of time weeding.  Here is my method:

1. Dig a hole and plant the seedling:


2. Get an old T-shirt or towel from your rag bag and wrap it around the base of the tree:


3. Spread a thick layer of grass clippings over the T-shirt and all around the seedling:image

4. To make it look nice, spread a thin layer of boughten mulch over the top.  I’ve used the red color-enhanced kind because I want to be able to easily spot all the places in the woods where I planted these seedlings so I can control plant growth around them as needed until they get established.  The T-shirt should help keep weeds to a minimum:


On an unrelated note, my mother-in-law is cleaning out forty years’ worth of accumulated stuff from her basement in preparation for moving to our town in a couple of weeks.  She’s bringing all kinds of little treasures (and I’m using that word very loosely here) over, one of which was a rather ugly cement lion’s head that’s painted dark green.  She says Philip and I gave this to her and Dave some twenty years or so ago, but I have no memory of that!  Anyway, she’s giving it to us (or giving it back to us, as the case may be), but it’s not something I really wanted in the house, if you catch my drift.  However, I thought it looked kind of neat hung on a dead tree in the woods near the driveway:



And now I’ll leave you with a pretty picture of the daffodils and tulips coming up in one of the front gardens:



Surprisingly the deer have not nibbled them (yet).  We were enjoying watching three pretty does browsing in the backyard early this morning while we ate breakfast…until they headed toward my blueberry bushes!  Then I had to tell them off and send them packing. 🙂

Boughten is an old word that was used back when people made most things themselves at home.  A “boughten dress” would have been a dress that was bought from a store rather than made at home and thus was a luxury. Nowadays we buy most stuff rather than making it, so we use the word “homemade” when we want to differentiate.  Homemade would have sounded odd to people’s ears 120 years ago just as boughten sounds odd to us now.  However, since I usually make my own mulch, the less common thing for me is store-bought (“boughten”) mulch.

5 thoughts on “No-waste tree planting

  1. Ok, I can’t stand it so, I’l ask. Why did you plant all those connifirs when you could have planted Sugar Maples? My mouth is watering at the thought of all the syrup.:)


    • Oh, I have five sugar maple saplings to plant but no time to plant them at the moment! Also a couple of cherry trees and another peach tree and then weeping willows to plant in our marshy area. My mother-in-law donates money to the Arbor Day Foundation and gets their annual tree catalog, so I was able to order a bunch of saplings and seedlings at a fairly discounted price. Unfortunately, they arrived right during the time of year when I’m super busy finishing up work before summer break.


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