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breeden
ursulav

More mulch!

It’s a new year in the garden, boys and girls, and you know what that means?

MORE MULCH!

*cue rising hysterical laughter here*

That’s right, it’s mulchin’ time! I had successfully finished off Mt. Mulch II by putting down a layer on the sideyard that will hopefully cook down until fall. (The permaculture workshop I attended last year suggested that if you’ve got an area where you know you want to plant, but aren’t going to get to it right away, put down mulch over it to help get the soil wetter and more pliable and wormy. This is particularly vital on our deathly clay soil.) It’ll be a mostly-shady bed, and I hold out hope for some solid fern-on-fern action, but the soil is currently hard packed clay. So, mulch!

I ordered a mere 5 cubic yards. This is great restraint by my standards. However, I’m kinda running out of new space for flowerbeds. There’s one big one left to put in the back, when I finish laying the patio, and then everything has been bed-ified.

Welll….I mean, I could expand the vegetable bed a smidge…no! Need to leave that project for fall! Otherwise fall will see me twitchy and restless and starting in on the wooded areas, which could totally be woodland garden space, and…well…I was kinda saving that for the bit where I go stark raving mad NEXT year.

Mt. Mulch III arrived today, accompanied by a smaller load of mushroom compost. I had noticed that they were selling it last year, and as we have moved waaaaay beyond “get a few bags of cow manure from the farmer who does our meat CSA” I’ve been looking for a bulk soil amendment. I went to the internet to do research into the world of mushroom compost.

After about an hour, I thought, as many have before me, that the internet would be really awesome if it wasn’t for all the damn people on it, and left the internet. The discussion seemed split between “This is the best thing ever created by human hands” and “This is useless and probably bad,” plus the obligatory “This will kill you and everything you love,” which I dismissed out of hand, since, y’know, internet.

I did what we all do in times of dismay—I called my mother.

“Oh, that stuff is awesome,” she said. “We got some one year and the garden was incredible.”

Good enough for me. As my mother has not, to my knowledge, mutated, exploded, or turned into a large Kafka-esque insect, I’ll give it a try and see how well it works. About the worst that happens is that I add some more organic matter to my poor wretched soil, really—even if it doesn’t get BETTER, the soil can’t get any worse unless I sink spent uranium fuel rods into it. We live in such a wet climate that the build-up of salts is unlikely to be an issue. So I’ll top-dress most of the beds with an inch of the stuff and see what happens. (The prairie planting is exempt, as we do not fertilize those, lest they become floppy and sad.)

For science! And mulch!

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.

Tags:

Oh. My. GOD. What IS that, where is it from, and how can I buy it RIGHT NOW?

I grew up in the Missouri Ozarks and the gardening issues there would make you feel right at home. When a soil cut shows you 1/2 inch of organic material on top of two feet of clay (if you're lucky enough to have soil that deep) on top of bedrock, usually limestone (which is why there are all those little cedar trees) you're in desperate straits. Short of actual poisons, very little organic matter you can add will be bad, although cutting the chicken manure with bark mulch might be a good plan; it's strong stuff.

the soil can’t get any worse unless I sink spent uranium fuel rods into it

And you thought the little garlics were strong before...

*lips moving out of sync with words* Look! Garzirra is fighting MechaGarzirra in downtown Lareigh! Someone summon Fernara!

Fern on fern action.

How asexy.

I could play devil's advocate and suggest raised beds or window boxes. :¬D


But what about the water?

The combination of these two lines ... it is to laugh!

More mulch!
( You are about to view content that may not be appropriate for minors. )

I've used mushroom compost for years and obviously am in the "best thing ever" camp.

"As my mother has not, to my knowledge, mutated, exploded, or turned into a large Kafka-esque insect . . ."

If this happened to my mom, I'd panic.

If this happened to your mom, it would be---panic, and then ARTS!

C'mon, I can't be the only person here that's thinking this. ;-D

MA

my gardener mother swears by the stuff.

of course she lives in hawai'i and can grow shit from a rock but hey, there it is.

Mushroom compost is ace. When I worked in a garden centre, customers practically beat the crap out of each other over the first pallet in.

After about an hour, I thought, as many have before me, that the internet would be really awesome if it wasn’t for all the damn people on it, and left the internet.

Truer words have never been spoken.

Mushroom compost has neither caused death to all in the surrounding regions or the rebirth of Eden right in our own backyard. It's an organic amendment, roll with it.

What was that thing from USENET? "Go not to the Internet for counsel, for it will say not only both 'yes' and 'no', but also, 'have you tried Linux,' 'you're on the wrong froup,' and 'read the damn FAQ'".

Mushroom compost is amazing. It is also useful, can give you random mushrooms FOR FREE and makes soil very happy. I used to put it on my garden every year. I am in rental now so can't garden.

I'd be leery of free mushrooms unless I had a handy mushroom expert too, to help me identify them. In a wet climate you get a lot of free mushrooms as it is, not that you'd necessarily want to eat them.