Author Topic: Mulching  (Read 6344 times)

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Richard Myers

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Mulching
« on: January 29, 2012, 08:32:43 PM »
The grass and weeds are growing!! Soon we will have to deal with them.  How about putting some newspaper down now to stop the growth.  The paper will dissolve and turn the weeds and paper into compost.   Gathering the leaves works really well in the compost that is all green or mainly kitchen scraps.

Time to start thinking about pruning and planting greens and starting indoor seeds.  I planted some greens two weeks ago and the plants are popping up.  We have had unusually warm weather.   

Spring is headed our way!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 05:02:32 AM »
Well we are not far behind you even in the cold northeast but we have February to contend with yet. That could tell another story for our lovely mild winter so far. I keep looking at my hills of compost and my garden beds sleeping so peacefully.  I can't wait to get my hands into it. This is such an exciting time of year for me. I look about at all the dead looking trees and bushes and marvel at how the Lord injects new life into each one at the right time. Not to mention when I plant those tiny seeds in dirt and they spring to life with the rain, sun and nutrients that God provides with 'my' help of preparing the soil, providing the proper shelter and protection while they are young and the weeding etc. I just thank God for the privilege of working with Him. It makes me 'feel' (dangerous word I know) so close to Him and so loved when I'm working in the garden.

By the way Richard....how are those tubs of compost working for you?
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 10:30:12 AM »
I got excited hearing you talk about yours.  They are like the tray of Bougainvillea cuttings I have covered with plastic.  I can't tell how they are doing.  I just keeping filling the tubs up with kitchen scraps, leaves, and soil. In my mind I see worms crawling up through all those holes I drilled!! But, in reality, I won't know until I dig into them. I guess, unlike the Bougainvillea tray, I ought to be digging in and mixing the tubs. But, I don't have a lot of time, so I told myself that it would take longer, but I will get that beautiful compost eventually. Today, is sunny, maybe I will go out and do a little turning.  :)  So I can see what is happening!  Sounds like a good motivation to do a little turning!

Dorine, when you were talking about all that new growth, I was thinking about how God does the same with us poor mortal sinners.  He is daily renewing us in His image.....as we allow Him.  One day soon there will be no more winters and all will be new and there will be no more no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away!  Soon! 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 11:17:59 AM »
I'm very interested in the cuttings you have started. I have never had any success with that and I have so many bushes I would like to take cuttings from.

Yes I too was thinking about the lessons God teaches us in nature of His love and care. And I look so forward to the day you speak of when God makes all things new.

I hope you found lots of worms in your tubs. They'll be the best fed worms around.  :)
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Marelis

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 02:40:32 AM »
Not to mention when I plant those tiny seeds in dirt and they spring to life with the rain, sun and nutrients that God provides with 'my' help of preparing the soil, providing the proper shelter and protection while they are young and the weeding etc. I just thank God for the privilege of working with Him. It makes me 'feel' (dangerous word I know) so close to Him and so loved when I'm working in the garden.
You've said itwell, Dorine.  Don't you just love seeds?  I do. So many different sizes and shapes, and to think of all the genetic material enclosed inside. 

"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Ps 16:11

Richard Myers

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2012, 10:25:38 PM »
We have brought up mulching with alfalfa in another topic, so I thought we ought to mention it here. It not only acts as a good much to prevents weeds and conserve water, but it adds a lot of nutrients into the garden. When I started this topic, I was thinking of the ground outside of my raised beds. I would not put alfalfa there!  :)  And, I cannot use a much in the beds because I am getting Bermuda grass. It will grow under a mulch.  :(
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Marelis

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2012, 10:46:20 PM »
It would probably have to be applied under a layer of compost rather than used as a top mulch layer, to speed up its decomposition.
"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Ps 16:11

Richard Myers

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 03:48:21 PM »
Our Saviour knew that many times many of us would be pressed by poverty, and would be anxious and troubled in regard to what we should eat or how we should be clothed; and he cautioned us on this point: "Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?" "Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?"  We have always the promise: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Our heavenly Father knows our needs, and he will provide for them without our giving our time, strength, and affections to the money of this world.
                                                           
We have been learning that mulch is an important benefit for gardening, especially where there summers are hot and dry and water is expensive. Much keeps the soil temps down and acts as a cover to keep moisture in the soil. And, we know that weeds will take up nutrients meant for our plants and they will often begin to crowd our plants. Mulch can help keep most weeds from germinating or from growing if they do germinate.

Dorine's raised beds are so beautiful with the wood chips filling in the open space. Being on a tight budget, I have not been able to purchase a chipper. I have a lot of trees that I can chip, but with no chipper, they are useless for chips. Well....God knows our needs. He has a million ways to provide for us, just as He has promised. He did not send a chipper my way, nor did He provide the finances to purchase one. Instead He knows my time is very limited and thought that I ought not be spending time cutting trees, chipping them, and then cleaning up the mess. Instead I got a knock at the door today and there was a man offering to dump a load of wood chips.  :)  Jehovahjireh, God will provide! He did and I am very thankful! God is a very real presence in our lives as we look unto Him!


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 03:51:23 PM »
Praise the Lord!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Dorine

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 06:16:58 PM »
I've got goose bumps all over as I read your post Richard. What a God we serve. Will this man be able to bring more? If so take as much as he is willing to bring. Each year as the chips decompose you will need to add more. We are running out so now we have turned to using leaves for mulch. We run the lawn mower through them so they break down faster. But the chips are the very best. They do not budge in the wind and stay nice and clean. I will surely miss using them. My back won't let me collect anymore from along the highway. It's enough challenge getting my seaweed but I have a nice pile of that now. Looking forward to seeing a picture of your wood chip mulched raised beds.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 08:05:11 PM »
Yes, praise our wonderful God! I need a little advice, Dorine. Since you have been blessed by using the wood chips, when should I put them down? I have greens and peas growing in two beds. Carrots and greens in another. Tomatoes and greens in a third, and a brand new bed with nothing planted yet. It would seem that I ought to put the chips in all right away, even in the new bed. But, will that make it harder to plant, or do you just move the chips aside?

I will be praying that you can find either a source of chips delivered or some help in gathering them. I wondered how you got them. That is a great idea to pick them up from a site where they are cutting. Had they been run through a chipper?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Ed Sutton

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2013, 05:15:22 AM »
The wood chips look like chipper mulch,  tree services dump them in piles or dump on convenient sites.  Call them and see what can be worked out.

Never plant in the mulch, it robs nutrients if tilled in too, so leave it on top of the ground around and between planted rows.  4 inches deep or less is too shallow to be effective - more than 4 inches is better, but 8 inches is maximum depth as any extra does no better.

Thinking of soil temperature moderation both hot and cold, and moisture retention.

To decompose a pile of wood chips faster plant edible variety  mushroom spawn ( hen of the woods - maitake "hen of the woods" is good )  and put 2 inches of fresh mowed grass clippings over the pile, then water with non chlorinated water.
Grateful for Psalms 32 and Titus 2:10 - The divinity of Christ is acknowledged in the unity of the children of God.  {11MR 266.2}

Richard Myers

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2013, 06:10:53 AM »
Thanks, Ed. That is a good warning, to not till the chips into the soil. It will pull the nitrogen out of the soil. We are only using the chips for a mulch. In another topic we also discussed using wood chips as mulch for trees. Mark brought up the concern that it can cause disease to spread to the trees. In reading up on this, it appears that the chips have to be kept to a thin layer to decrease the risk of disease to the trees. This is something that needs to be studied more. It is one thing to lose a vegetable crop, yet another to lose a tree. As I recall the paper I read suggested limiting the depth of the chips to two inches and keeping them away from the trunk of the tree. As with most things, there are differing opinions on this.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 07:25:52 AM »
Good advice Ed. My chips are not as good as what Richard has in his picture. His is finer and will decompose quicker than mine.

Richard I wanted to add my compost to my entire beds this fall (instead of adding in the spring to just the hole I am planting in) so I raked the chips aside and dumped the compost on top of the soil. Then I replaced the chips and added a fresh layer. I try to keep them around 8 inches deep as Ed suggested.  For beds that are already planted I carefully lay the chips between the rows and then pull them in close to the plants. I've even accidently covered some plants and they push up through anyway. Before I pull any plants up I always pull back my chips so they don't fall into the hole that is left from the roots of the plant. I add more soil or compost to the hole and cover back up with chips or replant with something else.

If you are ready to plant in a new bed I'd do that first then add the chips but if you are not ready to plant in the new bed then add the chips now.

So basically I put the chips down right away,
  • pull them aside to plant seeds leaving the chips until the plants are up,
  • then pulling the chips in around the plants adding more chips as the plant grows,
  • if you start with a seedling or plant push the chips aside, plant the seedling
  • then the chips can be pulled in around them adding more as they grow.
I have even made a hole in the chips, placed the plant on top of the soil and pulled the chips around it and the roots found their way down into the soil and did just fine. Chips stayed on top supporting the seedling/plant. I don't know how this would work on all plants. I've only tried a few like lettuce and chard.

The important thing to remember which has been mentioned here already is that the chips should never be mixed with the soil. Some in the top inch or so doesn't give me any problems but when they get mixed into the layer where the roots grow they will not do well.
Yes Richard my chips had been run through a coarse chipper and blown back into the ditch. It will take longer for them to decompose. Yours are beautiful. Thank you for your prayers about this matter. We'll see what God says.
Happy Chipping! :)

But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 12:46:08 PM »
Thanks, Dorine. 8 inches, that is a lot!  My chips are probably not much smaller than yours. You are seeing other material besides wood. That pile was from a pine tree and included needles and bark. Which brings up another matter. Does the kind of tree make any difference? I know that the needles are acidic. Tthe blueberries, rhododendrons, and azaleas will be happy.

Well...I just learned something new. Will have to confirm it by another source. We all know about pine needles raising the acid level of the soil, right? Well, not according to this article:  source.  He says that he has used them for all of his plants for the last 20 years and they work great for all plants. What do you think?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2013, 04:33:11 PM »
As long as it stays on top as mulch you are fine. I have pine needles mixed in with all kinds of leaves. If you don't have enough for a depth of 8 inches, I have a couple of beds that only have 4 inches on them. It still works but I find that dandelions will come up through. They are easy to pull out though because of the mulch.

Nice looking raised bed you've built. Looks like you have put much love into it. A lot of my beds are made out of old stair treads. My son in law is a stair installer and keeps me supplied.  I have raised beds in my greenhouse with chard, beets, kale, and collards growing. Curious to see how far into winter they will survive. We've had one hard frost but the outside garden with the kale, collards, parsley, celery, broccoli and carrots still looks fresh and vibrant. I might be wrong but I give mulch some of the credit for that.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2013, 09:23:12 PM »
With 8 inches of mulch, it has to protect the roots from freezing more than if you had no mulch. I am going to mulch by bougainvillea this winter and see if I can keep the root ball alive.

Dorine, I put down wood chips mixed with leaves like I have now ten years ago. I placed it in an area where I wanted to keep the weeds down where we had a swing and some lawn chairs.  It was terrible. It mildewed. What a stink!  And, it is not healthy to have rotting matter around the house. Why don't you have this trouble as I did?  Your chip pile does not look like it has leaves in it. But, you said you use chips with leaves and needles.  Have you had a problem with mildew or fungus?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2013, 01:26:40 PM »
The only thing I can think of Richard is the difference in our climate. The ratio of mowed leaves and needles to the chips is very small so they do not show up in the picture. I never have a problem with smell. That would not be good or as you said, not healthy. I'm stumped as to what to suggest. :-\ Maybe it was because it was getting walked on and trampled down so no air could get at it. In that sort of situation wood chips would be ideal. Sorry! What did you end up doing?
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2014, 01:17:13 PM »
I came looking for those beautiful pictures of your garden with the chips for much and could not find them!! I went searching through the forum and found them in the "Raised Beds" topic. Here is the link so others can see your wood chips being used for mulch.  mulching

Here is my first try  at mulching with chips.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: Mulching
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2014, 02:08:09 PM »
I commented on this in the 'raised bed' topic. One thing we do have but not a lot of is mushrooms/fungi growing out of the chips but they say that is a good sign that it is breaking down as it should. There is no bad smell just an earthy odor.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14