I have been mulching for the past half-dozen years or
more but I still don't feel I really know what I'm doing.
The mulch I have available is chipper wood in various
stages of decay which is provided by my local town.
I am pretty sure I killed off my asparagus bed by applying
too thick of a layer of this mulch. Only later did I notice
that the mulch had formed a rather particle-board-like
dense layer a few inches down.
Yesterday I decided to pull it back away from my thornless
blackberries to see what was happening underneath, but
I could not really tell if there would have been a problem.
Some areas had indeed compacted into impenetrable material
but since the blackberry shoots are usually adjacent to
previous growth they might have easily found an exit.
Is this the situation with mulch? Every year you need to
pull it back and see what is happening underneath?
Personally I would not mulch with chipped wood. Best to let that mulch
get really well composted before putting it on a garden. If you don't
get a lot of rain the wood chips can last a very long time without
rotting down into a good mulch. Might want to get your next load of
chips and pile them somewhere near the gardens and let it rot awhile.
Wetting it regularly and stirring the pile occasionally will get it to
On Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 11:40:40 AM UTC-5, George Shirley wrote:
Well, I certainly differentiate between compost and mulch. Mulch is
mostly an attempt at weed control and maintaining surface moisture.
It does eventually break down and seems to just slowly disappear.
you do have to know your plants and mulch.
some plants will tolerate it just fine. others
do not like being covered at all or only a little.
saw dust or more finely ground up stuff can do the
layers more often than the coarser and larger chips.
i do not often put wood chips on top of plants
but around them.
more often i bury them and mix them in with the clay
and they help.
buried down deeper i use them as fill, eventually they
rot and turn into humus.
the other aspects to consider are how much rain you
get and fungi love to form mats and that can collect
or hold water better than just the wood chips alone.
On Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 1:29:15 PM UTC-5, songbird wrote:
Yes, I need to remember that the mulch isn't going to
block weeds while "magically" allowing the passage of the new
shoots from plants that I want to grow. Also a few inches
down the wood chip mulch combined with fungi can harden into
a relatively solid mass, so this needs to be broken up
periodically if any new shoots need to be able to penetrate it.
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