Chop and Drop – Alternative

The advantage of chop and drop is the use of the most nutritious part of the tree to create a rich organic layer on the soil which will be processed by fungus to regenerate the soil in the initial steps of reforestation. The two factors to consider are as following;

  • 80% of the nutrients in the tree are found in the branches from 1cm to 5cm of diameter;
  • Before the leaves fall from the branches (natural process of deciduous trees) the nutrients present in the leaves come back to the branches, therefore the leaves which are falling naturally on the floor do not have a lot of nutrients.

In this video the main point is taking advantage of rich nutrient leaves, including a certain ratio of nitrogen to make easy composting, an alternative to chop and drop.

The monitoring of the compost pile can be made through various techniques demanding low labor;

  • nitrogen addition using animal urine spread on the pile (accelerator toward hot-composting);
  • Inclusion of bamboo canes in the pile during its formation to create oxygen canals and avoid turning the pile. This will depends on the leave material and its capacity to create cavities in the pile; soft leaves will compact and create an anaerobic environment (to be avoided). Mixture of hard and curved leaves with soft leaves can help as well;
  • addition of composting worms after the hot phase to increase the quantity of beneficial micro-organisms;
  • inclusion of green layers for microorganisms inoculation and nitrogen ratio increase;
  • inclusion of bamboo leaves (e.g. still green following the same process of harvesting) will provide with silicates which is used by microorganism to create aggregates together with the soil when the compost is added to the top soil.
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