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