Mulch Mulch Mulchgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Okay, I've been back in the archives reading the mulching file. I am planning on going to a Ruth Stout deep mulch system this year. I have lots of questions.
1) For those of you who have used round bales, are they hard to unroll?
2) How is it for planting small seeds like carrots, and lettuce?
3) Doreen I saw in the file that you attempted this last year. How have things gone?
4)Do any of you plant in wide beds and mulch too? If so do you mulch up to the edge of the bed or into it. I mostly plant in beds in a modified squarefoot gardening method. Actually mine is more like the square yard gardening method. LOL. Gotta have enough to can.
5)Does anyone have any advice to make things easier?
6)Is anyone using cardboard under the mulch? How is this working?
7) Can I just lay down my mulch and star planting, or should I let it sit a couple of weeks?
Thanks ahead of time.
Little Bit Farm
-- Little bit Farm (littleBit@compworldnet.com), February 20, 2001
Plant first, let the soil warm for a few weeks and then mulch. Try to have the mulch not touch the plants.
I think Ruth Stout's methods will work, but not as well as composting the materials first. With the stout method, a lot of your nitrogen will escape into the air.
I mulch with a thick layer of compost.
-- Paul Wheaton (email@example.com), February 20, 2001.
1) Don't use grass hay as lots of times there are weed pesticides that are broad spectrum and will kill your plants.
2)Fine mulch is excellent for planting small seeds. just wet it before hand, make a little trough and plant away, dust the stuff over and you have an excellent rooting medium.
3)The mulch was/is great. The only problem I had last year was a plague of hoppers and FIREANTS. The hoppers were the worst of the deal. Nutgrass created a bit of a problem, but I am trying to solarize that out with clear plastic and lots of pulling. A work in progress. But the SOIL, oh my, I have lovely smelling earthy loam out of all of this pottery style clay. It's amazing!
4)I am going with super heavy duty deep deep mulch this year. I covered up over all of my raised beds with peanut hulls. I have always planted in square foot style, but I ran cardboard under mulch in the walkways.
5)If you can till the area first, rake out all the weeds then lay either light cardboard or heavy newspaper down, wet that, then begin your mulching. Oh, do use some high nitrogen like alfalfa meal on top of the newspaper. easy....well, what's that? It'll be easier to keep up with the weeding!
6)Cardboard is good except that you shouldn't really try to plant through it. Also cut worms can become a problem and slugs.
7)If the mulch is aged, you can do it all in the same day.
I prefer these peanut hulls to any other mulch I have used. If you can find something that is fine, you can plant right into the mulch. If not, I still think you should mulch first and then spread the mulch away from the soil and set your plants. I absolutely detest trying to get mulch around plants after they are already in. I think it's much easier to mulch and then plant.Enjoy!!
-- Doreen (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 20, 2001.
I don't know how I forgot to mention this, but if you are going to go with building your own soil ala lasagna style, you really have to put in a fair amount of nitrogen under the mulch. Sorry! Also, I have been using the wrong word a lot lately and it's weed herbicides you have to look out for, not pesticides....where is my mind?
-- Doreen (email@example.com), February 21, 2001.
Your fine Doreen, herbicides are a pesticide.
-- Paul Wheaton (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 21, 2001.
Little Bit, I garden organically with large pine bark nuggets (we have incredible wind, would blow away anything else), 5 to 6 inches deep, the kind you can buy at Home Depot, Lowes, and Wally World, etc. I dump it out over the desodded area that needs covered, like new soil, spread it out, and there you go, you are ready to plant.
I never till the soil again, ever. I have my garden set up that I don't have to walk on it, it's long and narrow strips of ground, I reach in to plant and pick from the sides and edges. Only a problem with slugs during extreme periods of rain, use the bait in a shallow pan approach for that.
I hardly ever have to water, usually only once or twice when the plants are young and the roots not developed yet. The soil is plumb full to bursting with earthworms, they were not there till I started using the mulch, that in itself speaks volumes for the idea.
I have been using this procedure for over 15 years, always wonder why everyone doesn't use it. Oh, the mulch is still there, hardly ever have to add more, lasts for decades unless the wind or rain blows or washes it away, so use the biggest bark nuggets you can find, the bigger, the better.
Good luck, and happy gardening the lazy and efficient way!
-- Annie Miller in SE OH (email@example.com), February 22, 2001.
We use the block planting approach and when we plant something like peas or beans I plant the seeds first on the unmulched soil and push them into the soil by hand and then cover everything lightly with compost. After the plants get up about four inches then I start sprinkling mown grass from my lawnmower grass catcher. I let it fall down between the plants and have to shake the plants lightly some times to get the grass off of them. I do this again when they get a little taller. This takes a little bit of work but it sure saves having to weed and losing plants to drought later on. The mown grass usually doesn't have weed seeds in it either so I don't end up with problems with weeds eventhough the mulch is only about four inches deep.
-- Colleen (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 23, 2001.
From someone who's tried it, round bales are a real pain to unroll.
-- Connie (Connie@lunehaven.com), February 26, 2001.