Frost came and the Amorpha is done growing for the season. Check out this year’s growth.
Visually impressive I know. It’s actually lacking 2 ft of what I expected. If you’ve read Dealing with deficiency earlier this summer, you probably noticed this season wasn’t stellar for lush growth.
Compared to the nearby cherry that yellowed and lost its leaves several months ago, the amorpha did quite well, remaining green and vibrant, growing for a lot longer than other plants in the food forest. Early September even it slowed down and aborted its growing tip, calling it quits for the year.
Last year it grew right until frost in October. If the same had occured this year, I suspect it could have grown that extra 2 ft and more.
I plan on coppicing again next year. A lot of my seedling Amorpha I coppiced lightly this year though, just removing a branch or two to which they responded well. So I may have more genetics in different locations to compare with next year. I’ll keep you posted.
have you tried amorpha in the role of a companion plant (it being a N-fixer?
I just received many young plants in exchange for a maclura and rooted elaeagnus cuttings. They are meant mostly for the bees but seeing the performance of elaeagnus as a companion to fruit trees I thought hey, amorpha could logically perform a similar function… ?
Good for you! I look forward to hearing how the Amorpha perform for you.
Nearly all my Amorpha are planted within three feet of the tree, or well within the assumed mature canopy space, as companion plants. The root die-off feeds the tree too, so I want it where the tree can get at it. Although none of these could be called a good control for comparison, most of the trees lacking a large Amorpha or Eleagnus by them have died and need replacement.
The soil in my food forest is very poor, and the site is very exposed, so there is more a companion like Amorpha can do than fix nitrogen.
OK then. In a month or so I’m planting these 30 and also some 15 elaeagnus cuttings from the previous year. One function I’m sure will be performed well is attracting wildlife since this year the birds have figured out that elaeagnus is good stuff 🙂 As for amorpha, hopefully practice will conform to theory and the plants will provide bee forage directly after our location’s main course – black locust (usually a week to 10 days in mid May).
I have never taken the time to compare the two, but I would say Amorpha does bloom a bit later than black locust. I have never noticed many honeybees on it. It is nevertheless always covered in many tiny pollinator species. But that may just be a lack of honeybees in my area. Actually, I have meant to mention to you that an herb I grow commercially in large quantities for a homeopathic company is very attractive to honeybees, and blooms from Early July to frost for me. It’s Cardiospermum halicacabum if you want to look it up. Technically a perennial herbaceous vine, but in temperate climates it dies from frost so I treat it as an annual replanting it every year. I will have to post about it sometime soon.
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