Natural Planters–a clever use for old stumps!

A Natural Planter

One of Permaculture’s main principles is to “use resources to their fullest potential.”  The following is a good example of what that means…We recently had to remove an old papaya tree from one of our garden beds, so we chopped it down to the level of a stump.  Papaya trees tend to be very soft or hollow on the inside, so instead of trying to remove the stump, roots and all, we left it in the ground and turned it into a natural planter.  We hollowed out the middle, filled it with compost and planted an eggplant.  By doing this, we will be able to allow for the natural decomposition of the papaya’s roots that will leave small ‘tunnels’ in the soil to let air and water penetrate deeply.  It will also allow the stump to feed the soil around the area of the planter as it decomposes, adding carbon and essential nutrients back to the soil.  This whole process also helped us to “conserve energy” (another Permaculture principle), since we didn’t have to go through the back-breaking process of trying to remove a large tree stump from the ground.