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Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by SpringFever on April 14, 2006 06:50 AM
I hear people say mulch mulch mulch ? what is considered mulch is any type of compost? Or is it the bark stuff?
I don't like the bark,Just dirty ole dirt I do add a composted manure in spring and that is about it. Am I doing something wrong I don't really understand all this stuff? [shocked] [shocked] [Eek!] [scaredy]
Really any advice would be great!

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by Longy on April 14, 2006 01:40 PM
what is considered mulch is any type of compost? Or is it the bark stuff?
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Mulch is a covering for the soil. It can be anything which prevents evaporation and suppresses weed growth.

Common mulches are bark chips, pine bark, straw and hay, pulverised coir, shredded newspaper, dried grass clipping, leaves, compost etc. others can be gravel and stones, pieces of coloured glass etc.

Living mulches are ground hugging plants which grow very densely and wipe out competition from weeds. The best of these are legumes as they also take nitrogen from the air and fix it in the soil thereby feeding the other plants.

Benefits of mulch are weed reduction, creation of humus, soil temperature consistency, moisture retension and the fact that it creates an environment for beneficial soil borne microbial activity and earthworm life.

COmpost is fine as a mulch but it's best dug into the soil where the plant roots can use it, then covered by a mulch to keep the organisms within it protected from sun and drying out.

About the only problem soil wise with mulch, is that it can become water repellant if left dry for a long time. This is especially true of a dense covering with something like dried grass clippings or shredded newspaper. The benefits however, by far outweigh the negatives in my opinion.

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The secret is the soil.
by SpringFever on April 14, 2006 07:35 PM
OK great to know Longy.. Thanks
I think I will have to find some ground cover! of some kind!
Would an Irish Moss work in this group? Most of my area is shade..

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by Longy on April 15, 2006 12:37 AM
Being a common name, irish moss could be a number of things to a number of people and i'm not sure if it's suitable. Basically, any low spreading plant that covers the earth will help keep weeds out. I'm sure if you post a query in the plants and flowers forum you'll get some ideas. Make sure you explain the situation, soil type, amount of available light, and your zone. It's also good to plant things which will survive on the same trweatment the other plants in the area are already getting. Like if you have a heap of drought tolerant plants, don't plant a ground cover that requires water 3 times a week for example.

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The secret is the soil.
by SpringFever on April 15, 2006 01:13 AM
[thumb] Thanks for the heads up!!

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by peppereater on April 15, 2006 05:26 AM
SpringFeaver...I use strawberries in part of my shady area as a ground cover...they help keep weeds out, and I get strawberries!

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by SpringFever on April 15, 2006 08:12 PM
Do they do well in the shade? I would of never thought strawberried would grow Hmmm that is a good idea [thumb] nothing better than fresh strawberries either thanks Peppereater [clappy]

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by peppereater on April 15, 2006 10:46 PM
Strawberries actually do well in the shade, because they like moist soil, and so they don't dry out as bad as in the sun. You won't get as many strawberries as in a sunny spot, but they will produce. Edible groundcover! Can't beat that!

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by SpringFever on April 15, 2006 11:33 PM
Thanks dave.. I will buy some for all my areas then!! I have a few sunnier spots so maybe I will have more fruit!

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