Article: MULCH: Beneficial and Free: Free mulch

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Image MULCH: Beneficial and Free
By NancyAnn Gandy on June 3, 2010

Every garden needs mulch for several reasons, but mulch can be expensive if you buy all that you need. But you may not have to pay a cent for it!

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Imagemarti
Jun 3, 2010 8:14 PM CST
Name: Mary (Marti) Nelson
Ventura, CA
Peace and long life
You are so right about the tree trimmers. I found one who was more than happy to dump 3 large truck loads on my property. Now it is breaking down. I've used it fresh to start building up my beds and the daylilies and iris love it. I also mixed the pine mulch in with horse compost and started a raised beds for my shade garden. All plants are doing well.

Now if I can just find someone with a small plow or rototiller that can till up my 40X60 veggie garden so I can have it ready for next year, I'd be wallowing in 'you know what'. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Tahlmorra lujhala mei wiccan
(The fate of a man rests always within the hands of the gods)
ImageSonoita
Jun 4, 2010 10:14 AM CST
Name: Bridgett
Sonoita, Arizona
Zone 8a
I remember reading over at Dave's a year or so ago about how the tree trimmings leach nitrogen from the soil. What do you know about that if anything?

marti - I own a tractor and ripped a new bed last year, addedd 20 buckets of horse/bird compost over the winter. Big Grin!!!! Whistling Rest assured that I have dug my own gardens by hand for years. Thumbs down
Be the person your pet(s) believes you to be.
ImageButterflyChaser
Jun 4, 2010 10:23 AM CST
Name: NancyAnn
Jonesboro Ark
You know, I hear people talking about the nitrogen issue, but I've been using free tree trimmer mulch for years, and I can't tell it takes anything away from the soil. I was also told it would burn up the plants, and that's not true. Our southern sun was burning up the plants. Now that I have mulch down to shade the roots and retain moisture, my plants just love it.

Here's a picture of some of my gardens this year. I mulched them last year and topped them off again this year. Do they look deprived or burned up? Maybe in certain climates they would be? Here, the mulch biodegrades so quickly so I guess it replenishes the soil faster than it can take something from it.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser

ImageButterflyChaser
Jun 4, 2010 10:24 AM CST
Name: NancyAnn
Jonesboro Ark
Another trick I forgot to mention in the article is to mulch your paths. Then when it breaks down to almost soil, scoop it out and use it like soil and add fresh mulch to your paths. This way, you keep a compost cycle going all the time even if you don't have room for a compost bin.
ImageUniQueTreasures
Jun 4, 2010 2:56 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Now that sounds like a smart move!

Nancy, you can edit the article at any time to add anything you want.... more info, photos, etc. There should be a place for you to edit right under the article box.

Janet
ImageButterflyChaser
Jun 4, 2010 6:52 PM CST
Name: NancyAnn
Jonesboro Ark
Ok, Janet. I may add that tip later. I may think of others as we talk.
Imagemarti
Jun 4, 2010 6:53 PM CST
Name: Mary (Marti) Nelson
Ventura, CA
Peace and long life
ButterflyChaser

What is that large plant towards the front and middle of your picture??
Tahlmorra lujhala mei wiccan
(The fate of a man rests always within the hands of the gods)
ImageButterflyChaser
Jun 4, 2010 7:03 PM CST
Name: NancyAnn
Jonesboro Ark
Right in the foreground? The one with maple-like foliage? That's Texas Star hibiscus. It will be blooming soon. The bloom is huge. The plant gets 8 or 10 ft tall and just blooms and blooms. It blooms red, but I'm looking for a white one too.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser

Imagemarti
Jun 4, 2010 8:36 PM CST
Name: Mary (Marti) Nelson
Ventura, CA
Peace and long life
I have seeds for the white texas star. Would you like some seeds?
Tahlmorra lujhala mei wiccan
(The fate of a man rests always within the hands of the gods)
ImageButterflyChaser
Jun 5, 2010 6:48 AM CST
Name: NancyAnn
Jonesboro Ark
Thanks, Marti, for the offer. I have seeds, but I'm impatient. I want a plant. I may scatter the seeds this fall and let them come up naturally in the spring, like the red TX Star seeds do. I sowed some in a pot this spring, but they never sprouted. Letting Mother Nature do it seems to work best for me. She sure works some miracles around here when I'm not looking.
Imagemarti
Jun 7, 2010 9:09 AM CST
Name: Mary (Marti) Nelson
Ventura, CA
Peace and long life
I know how that is. If my seeds for the white star germinate and I get several plants I'll let you know.
Tahlmorra lujhala mei wiccan
(The fate of a man rests always within the hands of the gods)
ImageButterflyChaser
Jun 7, 2010 10:49 AM CST
Name: NancyAnn
Jonesboro Ark
Thank you, Marti.
ImageHorntoad
Jun 9, 2010 12:12 AM CST
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas Zone 9a
This article suggest to add a little lawn fertilizer to the fresh wood chips to keep it from leaching nitrogen from the soil.
http://blog.pennlive.com/gardening/2007/04/fresh_wood_chips_...
ImageButterflyChaser
Jun 10, 2010 1:27 PM CST
Name: NancyAnn
Jonesboro Ark
I've never had to add fertilizer to the wood chips. I really don't fertilize anything or add miracle grow or any of that. I just mulch and plant. Here's what one of my gardens looks like this week.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser

ImageButterflyChaser
Jun 10, 2010 1:43 PM CST
Name: NancyAnn
Jonesboro Ark
Oh, wait, I told a fib! I do have a Superintendent on the premises who gets free room and board in exchange for fertilizing and irrigating my gardens. He's quite adept and much of the credit for the beautiful blooms above must go to him. Here it is out on patrol, checking to see where he needs to fertilize next.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser

Imagemarti
Jun 14, 2010 10:12 AM CST
Name: Mary (Marti) Nelson
Ventura, CA
Peace and long life
Beautiful garden Butterfly. I hope mine looks something like that next year. Many of the daylilies I got in the trades are now setting up to bloom. I am just so excited to see all the colors.

Tahlmorra lujhala mei wiccan
(The fate of a man rests always within the hands of the gods)

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