Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Live and learn
by sanderson Today at 1:34 am

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by sanderson Today at 1:28 am

» New Member
by countrynaturals Today at 1:18 am

» Mid-South: December 2016
by yolos Yesterday at 9:39 pm

» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 9:01 pm

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 9:00 pm

» First season SFG results / lessons learned
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 8:59 pm

» Eat Broccoli Leaves? Brussels Sprouts? Cauliflower?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 8:41 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 6:41 pm

» New England, December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 6:37 pm

» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 6:03 pm

» Holy snow Batman!
by sanderson Yesterday at 5:46 pm

» Winter's Coming!
by plantoid Yesterday at 5:33 pm

» Senseless Banter...
by MrBooker Yesterday at 5:17 pm

» Dry versus fresh spices to infuse vinegar
by plantoid Yesterday at 5:02 pm

» Blanching and Freezing Vegetables
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:59 pm

» Your Christmas wish list?
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:29 pm

» SFG Adventure of a first time gardener in ND
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:14 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:12 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by Kelejan Yesterday at 4:08 pm

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 2:59 pm

» Fusion Life Brands Power XL pressure cooker
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 2:39 pm

» Asia Region -Showcase of Gardens - Show Us Yours
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:14 pm

» December: What to plant in Northern California and Central Valley areas
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 1:13 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 12:52 pm

» Winter Gardens - Photos
by sanderson Yesterday at 3:55 am

» Log In
by trolleydriver 12/1/2016, 5:23 pm

» Gnome Pumpkin Pie
by countrynaturals 12/1/2016, 1:22 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals 12/1/2016, 12:05 pm

» Greenhouse dreams
by trolleydriver 11/30/2016, 11:18 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  TinySpock on 4/16/2015, 3:24 pm

I'm mulching, already!  LOL




TinySpock

Female Posts : 80
Join date : 2015-03-16
Age : 65
Location : Kingman, Arizona

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  sanderson on 4/16/2015, 3:42 pm

cheers

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12231
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 4/16/2015, 3:56 pm

I have been as well.  It makes it tougher to plant in my SFG raised beds but my watering dropped from every other day this sprint to less than once a week and in California, that's a big deal.  Not only that but my plants are happier when they have consistent moisture.  

I have about 25% of my garden yet to do.

audrey.jeanne.roberts

Posts : 1865
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Central Calif Mtns.

View user profile http://audreyjeanne-roberts.artistwebsites.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  Elizabeth on 4/16/2015, 5:24 pm

Mulch is great. the effectiveness depends on what you use. 

My favorite mulch for both water retention and weed control is pine straw.  10" - 12".  Pat it down a little with your hands then let nature do it's thing.  Within a couple of weeks you will have a beautiful layer of tightly woven pine straw that is the best for water retention and weed control.  It decomposes slowly so you do not have to replenish as frequently as with wood mulch.  It is eco friendly and contrary to popular belief will not have an adverse affect on your soil pH.

Regular wood mulch will need to be replenished more frequently. 

You also need to have regular soil test done to monitor the level of Nitrogen.  Decomposing wood mulch sucks nitrogen out of the soil depriving your plants of a much needed nutrient.

Good luck

Elizabeth

Female Posts : 91
Join date : 2012-11-25
Age : 63
Location : Lafayette, LA zone 9b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 4/16/2015, 5:43 pm

@Elizabeth wrote:Mulch is great. the effectiveness depends on what you use. 

My favorite mulch for both water retention and weed control is pine straw.  10" - 12".  Pat it down a little with your hands then let nature do it's thing.  Within a couple of weeks you will have a beautiful layer of tightly woven pine straw that is the best for water retention and weed control.  It decomposes slowly so you do not have to replenish as frequently as with wood mulch.  It is eco friendly and contrary to popular belief will not have an adverse affect on your soil pH.

Regular wood mulch will need to be replenished more frequently. 

You also need to have regular soil test done to monitor the level of Nitrogen.  Decomposing wood mulch sucks nitrogen out of the soil depriving your plants of a much needed nutrient.

Good luck
Good to know.  I think the myth that pine straw will turn your soil ph bad is one of the most prevelent I've heard.

As to the wood mulch, it also is a myth.  It actually does not "suck the nitrogen" out of the soil, only the surface of the soil is affected.  If they are not mixed into the soil layer, studies have shown that the root zone for plants under wood chips is quite safe nitrogen wise.  

It is also very easy to compensate for.  It is recommended that if someone is going to mulch with wood chips, it's a good idea to lay down some compost on top of the garden before laying down the mulch or you can also mulch and simply spread compost on top.  It will wash down through the chips and act like compost tea.

audrey.jeanne.roberts

Posts : 1865
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Central Calif Mtns.

View user profile http://audreyjeanne-roberts.artistwebsites.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  TinySpock on 4/16/2015, 8:29 pm

I'm not familiar with pine straw, where does one obtain it?  Will any straw do?  I just see alfalfa bales available around town.  I'll check with the feed store, they'll know.  Thanks for the tip!

I laid several layers of newspaper (those annoying rolled up things that I'm always finding in my driveway), not the shiny-ink ones, wet it and then laid the mulch on top.

TinySpock

Female Posts : 80
Join date : 2015-03-16
Age : 65
Location : Kingman, Arizona

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  sanderson on 4/17/2015, 12:11 am

Or, sprinkle a thin layer of manure compost on top of the MM, then the mulch.

Spock, Newspaper under the mulch. Was that to keep the chips from sinking into the Mix?

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12231
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 4/17/2015, 12:19 am

@sanderson wrote:Or, sprinkle a thin layer of manure compost on top of the MM, then the mulch.
Thanks for adding that, I meant to mention manure and got interrupted - the brain just doesn't handle being interrupted very well any more!

audrey.jeanne.roberts

Posts : 1865
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Central Calif Mtns.

View user profile http://audreyjeanne-roberts.artistwebsites.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  TinySpock on 4/17/2015, 12:24 am

I saw a guy do it that way on a YouTube video.  He cut a slit in the 4 layers of newspaper and slid it around the stem, soaked the newspaper with water and then added mulch.  And yes, it will keep the mulch from mixing with the MM.  I love YouTube - there's a how-to video on just about anything!

TinySpock

Female Posts : 80
Join date : 2015-03-16
Age : 65
Location : Kingman, Arizona

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  FRED58 on 4/17/2015, 6:30 am

I have been using newspaper under cedar bark mulch on my marigold bed for a few years. I put the newspapers under weedcloth  with mulch on top of that. I am in my third year of a pitched battle with bindweed (aka wild morning glories), and they were growing through the weedcloth. The newspapers smothered the weeds and I have made great gains.  Water still gets through. The only place I have weeds is at the base of the plants, where they come through the newspaper/weedcloth.

This spring I will be using just newspaper and mulch in an irregular shaped bed with low evergreen shrubs and native perennial flowers at the base of a three-branch clump of paper birches

FRED58

Male Posts : 145
Join date : 2015-03-25
Age : 58
Location : Kincardine, Ontario, Canada

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  jimmy cee on 4/17/2015, 7:37 am

I have been shredding newspaper, using it as a mulch seems to have worked for me

jimmy cee

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 1844
Join date : 2013-02-16
Age : 81
Location : Indiana PA....zone 5

View user profile http://www.jcjigs.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  Kelejan on 4/18/2015, 12:30 am

Is pine straw the same as pine leaves?

Kelejan

Female Posts : 4484
Join date : 2011-04-24
Age : 81
Location : Castlegar, British Columbia

View user profile http://www.castlegarinkspot.ca

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  Elizabeth on 4/18/2015, 2:03 am

Pine needles.  Probably not available in states or regions that do not have pine trees.  Embarassed
Sorry!

Elizabeth

Female Posts : 91
Join date : 2012-11-25
Age : 63
Location : Lafayette, LA zone 9b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/18/2015, 4:29 pm

I'll be putting newspaper under the mulch this year.  I'm hoping it will keep the mulch out of the MM.  It was a hassle to get out when bed-cleaning...

AtlantaMarie

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 3763
Join date : 2014-03-18
Age : 53
Location : Buford, GA - Zones 7B/8A

View user profile http://www.defensivespecialties.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/18/2015, 7:28 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:I'll be putting newspaper under the mulch this year.  I'm hoping it will keep the mulch out of the MM.  It woas a hassle to get out when bed-cleaning...

I agree. Wood chips everywhere! I'm using pine needle/leaf mix this year. No problem if it mixes in.

CC

CapeCoddess

Posts : 5357
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 60
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  jimmy cee on 4/18/2015, 10:12 pm

I have 15 bags of leaves gathered from last fall. I can dry them out and shred them to use for mulch...ok with this ?

jimmy cee

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 1844
Join date : 2013-02-16
Age : 81
Location : Indiana PA....zone 5

View user profile http://www.jcjigs.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 4/19/2015, 11:50 am

@jimmy cee wrote:I have 15 bags of leaves gathered from last fall. I can dry them out and shred them to use for mulch...ok with this ?
Absolutely!  Leaves are a wonderful mulch (that's sort of what they're made for, LOL!)  Worms love them too.

audrey.jeanne.roberts

Posts : 1865
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Central Calif Mtns.

View user profile http://audreyjeanne-roberts.artistwebsites.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  sanderson on 4/19/2015, 10:38 pm

I used bridal tulle for my pepper and eggplant pots last year and it really helped keep the wood chips out of the MM. I reused the tulle and chips for those pots this spring. But, using strips of tulle in the beds was too hard to be worth it so I'm trying bedding straw this year in the beds.

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12231
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/20/2015, 7:14 am

I used pine needles on my strawberry bed last year and they worked out really well. They still look good, but I'll add some more on top this year.

lyndeeloo

Female Posts : 433
Join date : 2013-04-14
Location : Western Massachusetts Zone 5b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  sanderson on 5/1/2016, 4:13 pm

Bump. It's getting hot here (83*F) and getting time for mulch.

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12231
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Still cool here

Post  MrBooker on 5/3/2016, 7:21 am

@sanderson wrote:Bump.  It's getting hot here (83*F) and getting time for mulch.
It's only been in the upper 50's and 60's here (zone 6) for a while. My cool weather crops are growing like crazy. No need for mulch yet but I know the time is coming.

MrBooker

Male Posts : 241
Join date : 2016-03-19
Age : 70
Location : SW Illinois 62260

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 5/3/2016, 10:50 am

I mulched my SFG beds with compost that was half finished.  The worms in each table top will finish the job and it holds moisture really well.  I use a lot of hay in my compost and mulching - by hot composting most of the seeds are taken care of and then it will finish up on top of the beds.  The unfinished hay keeps it light and airy and every time I water the compost is washing down into the soil mix.

When that is finished I have some finely broken down wood chips that will go on for the summer heat.

audrey.jeanne.roberts

Posts : 1865
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Central Calif Mtns.

View user profile http://audreyjeanne-roberts.artistwebsites.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  sanderson on 5/3/2016, 12:58 pm

Hi Audrey, Haven't heard from you for a while. I know you had a deadline to meet but it's good to hear from you. On the CA thread, I'm just talking to myself. Embarassed

Even though each bed was amended with compost this spring, I've been topping off with fluffy compost, then covering with straw as each bed gets ready for it. I have worm tubes in most of the beds and from one incident, I found that they made short work of the top pure compost under the straw. I think the compost and straw combo will be good this summer.

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12231
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  ralitaco on 5/6/2016, 12:34 am

I guess I can add MULCH to my list of things I want to do/try to do this year. While we are not in a drought like CA, I am terrible at going out to water so mulch might be my saving grace. Thanks for "bumping" this thread

ralitaco

Male Posts : 758
Join date : 2010-04-04
Location : Hampstead, NC

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Taking heed - Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Post  Sponsored content Today at 1:50 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum