Today’s topic is a small variation that those of you who already use quilting techniques will already know. A few months ago we counted the benefits and drawbacks (which also have them in very few cases) that this method has, but within all its possibilities, there is the variant that we address today. The BRF. If you want to unravel the acronyms, keep reading.
LET’S REMEMBER THE PADDING A LITTLE
In short, for those who have not read the entry published about mulching , we remember that it is a technique that consists of covering the bare areas of soil that remain between the planting frames of our vegetables in the garden. In this way we protect the upper levels of the soil from excessive radiation, we reduce the working sole, we improve the porosity, and above all we maintain very constant humidity levels and the saving in irrigation water ( as in exudative irrigation ) is very very noticeable, especially in warm places. It can be made with various materials such as straw, cut grass, litter, bark, sawdust among others, but there is one that we would like to mention especially in this post.
THE BRF PADDING ( BOIX RAMEAUX FRAGMENTÉS )
Although the initials come from French, its translation is “chopped branch wood”, but in Spanish we usually call it pruning remains which, after all, we talk about the same thing. I put BRF because the acronyms have already made a name representing this method but more and more we hear padding from pruning remains.
Normally, it is recommended that the pruning remains destined for this purpose, be pruning of relatively young branches , of no more than 2 years, since they are somewhat less lignified and still contain a good balance between components: lignins, proteins, sugars and celluloses. . Older woods lose most of the components, giving way to a higher concentration of lignin.
BRF PADDING IS NOT FOR THE IMPATIENT
If you expect that by adding the shredded pruning remains in the garden you will see your vegetables grow bigger, healthier and richer, I have to disappoint you. The padding of pruning remains is one of the padding that takes the longest to be incorporated into the soil component. Straw, grass, green manures , are little lignified plant fractions and therefore rapid decomposition, providing nutrients and complementing the properties of the soil in a short time (sometimes not even a year).
However, pruning remains are more lignified components, and the time required for their decomposition is higher, and can last up to 3 years. But the garden is like good cooking, the preparation time, in the end, gives better results. The same thing happens when quilting. The structure provided by the decomposed pruning remains to the soil, ends up being more stable.
WAYS TO APPLY PRUNING DEBRIS
If you already have mulch or do not want to use the pruning remains for this purpose, we also remind you that you can compost them with the rest of the usual composting materials. Therefore we have two options for the destination of the pruning remains. In the end, both of them will end up being part of our garden soil.
The rest of the pruning, we can always compost it as we do with the rest of the plant remains in order, through the various biological processes that occur in composting, to obtain an evolved compost of which the pruning remains will be part. In this way, the decomposition will be faster than the direct contribution, but we will not have the advantage of the padding.
If we add the shredded remains to the garden directly, we will obtain the aforementioned mulch and the contribution of nutrients to the soil will be made much more progressively, although in this case, we will have the advantages provided by mulching the soil of the organic garden.
BRF MULCH IS NOT THE MIRACLE OF THE GARDEN
I have come to hear that BRF mulch, or pruning remnants, is magical and the orchard improves to unsuspected levels. This statement seems too categorical to me. I sincerely believe that mulching, in general, helps a lot in the conditions of the garden, but if we do not combine it with proper management, efficient irrigation, good compost and dedication , we will not notice much improvement. The garden must always be cared for, although techniques like these allow us better control and extra benefits that are appreciated.