Turkish rocket broccoli production polyculture

We really like Turkish rocket, but it tends to be a bit large for most companions. Also digging anywhere near it breaks roots and makes new plants pop up. So we reworked a bed to give it a proper home.

We planted out the Turkish rockets at 3' spacing, in a row down the middle of a 3' wide bed. Then we planted Astragalus glycyphyllos between them. That's another tricky plant for us, as it is quite rambunctious, yet it leaves an empty spot over the crown in summer. This way the Turkish rockets will cover that gap by mid summer, and the Astragalus can do what it wants and fix nitrogen. Excess Astragalus foliage that grows in to the path (and there should be a fair amount) will be cut and fed to chickens or used as mulch under the Turkish rockets.

We may also put in some coppiced nitrogen fixing shrubs behind the Turkish rockets for additional nitrogen. We really want to see what these things can do with good fertility.

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still going strong

spring 2012.

Eric Toensmeier - writer, trainer, plant geek - www.perennialsolutions.org, carbonfarmingsolution.com

update May 2011

Seems to be growing nicely.

Eric Toensmeier - writer, trainer, plant geek - www.perennialsolutions.org, carbonfarmingsolution.com

turkish rocket broccolis

Here's what the broccolis look like:

Eric Toensmeier - writer, trainer, plant geek - www.perennialsolutions.org, carbonfarmingsolution.com

August 21 2010 update

Things filling in fairly well, very dry year not helping. Astragalus will provide a much better cover next year, perhaps should have sown an annual cover of some kind to help. But looks like rocket-astragalus should be very nice next year and thereafter. Pea shrubs not doing much, perhaps in too much shade to grow well. Goumis would probably be a better choice for this particular site, they grow extremely well just a few meters away in heavier shade and seem to bounce back very well from heavy pruning.

Eric Toensmeier - writer, trainer, plant geek - www.perennialsolutions.org, carbonfarmingsolution.com

update May 28 2010

Here's a photo. Already cut back Turkish rocket once to try to make it bushier, so they don't look that impressive. It is kind of cool that at this point the pea shrub and astragalus leaves look very similar. Note persimmon suckers coming up where we cut some roots while reworking the bed.

Eric Toensmeier - writer, trainer, plant geek - www.perennialsolutions.org, carbonfarmingsolution.com

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