My very own Mt. Mulch



120-pound sloppy-sitting Newfoundland for size comparison only.

The other day, Ellie May's mom posted about Mount Mulch, the pile of mulch that resides in her driveway often for a good part of the summer because she detests dealing with it. I can relate. So much so that reading her post prompted me to call and order my very own Mt. Mulch.

I haven't mulched for at least three years. I don't think it's particularly good for one's garden (sucks all that nitrogen up breaking it down), and certainly not good in the quantities I see being applied to my neighbors' yards by the professional landscaping crews they hire. But go a few years without it and you'll remember the benefits of mulch. Last year I topdressed all my garden beds with about three inches of compost. This year I feel like I'm seeing the rewards from that, and I think that's something I'll continue to do every three years or so. But let me tell you, the weeds almost killed me last year. At first the compost held them back, but by the end of summer it was a losing battle, and, ultimately, I gave up. And this year I'm seeing what happens when you sit back and let the weeds win. All their babies, plus the perennial weeds, REALLY take over. I've been pulling them, but it's not helping. Within what seems like minutes, they are back.

So I got four yards of mulch delivered. I just sort of guessed at the amount. Much of the "main" garden (I call it the main garden only because it was the first one I made), is so packed with plants that mulch is not needed. (Have I mentioned that I'm becoming very fond of ground covers and quickly spreading plants?) And I was able to much the circle garden with the bits of the pine stump we ground out, so that one is taken care of.

Anyway, I feel a lot like Ellie May's mom does about the whole chore: what a bore. That said there is really nothing better, in my opinion, than a freshly mulched garden. It looks so beautiful. In fact I may even use it as an excuse to have a small party to show off the garden. That's assuming I get all the beds weeded and the mulch spread. Better not send out invitations yet.

8 comments :

  1. Ok, all mulch aside, that's a cute dog! Here in Austin I worry that if I don't mulch, not only will the weeds take over, but my precious plants will die in the heat. I decided not to mulch until it started getting pretty hot, which it suddenly did overnight a few weeks ago. Sometimes the mulch comes with weeds of its own, though -- not cool!

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  2. I'm actually a big fan of mulch, especially the fine chips type. Seems to be a problem with nitrogen only when the mulch gets under the soil, then needs to break down. But if we can just keep it on top of the soil (easier said than done) it's okay. ;) Have enjoyed looking at your blog, and love all the helpful gardening links too. All the best, Teresa

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  3. Mulch to become the focal point of a garden isnt that bad afterall.... only that it will keep reducing!!

    ~ bangchik

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  4. @Meredith: Rita knows all too well that she's cute, but she says thank you, anyway! I can definitely see your point about the heat. That is such an entirely foreign concept up here (we've had ONE day over 70 degrees so far!) that I tend to forget that for some people mulch is really not optional.

    @ Teresa: Yes, the more shredded the mulch, the better, as far as I'm concerned. The stuff I bought this time was called "premium hardwood triple-shredded mulch" and it looks like it will break down very nicely.

    @ B&K: You're right about that!

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  5. Love the pic of Rita! (Does she really weigh 120?? Hope is around 105, but I think she's gotten fatter since getting spayed)

    Anyway, I love your blog. You crack me up and I'm learning bunches!!!

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  6. Living mulch is the answer . grow 4-5 times more leaf surface area than actual surface area in your beds. weeding goes away.

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  7. Bart, that's what I'm shooting for! I'm finding myself more and more looking at groundcovers and quickly spreading plants. I figure I can also pull it out and put something else there. It's funny though, a neighbor who I'm sort of helping make a small island bed said to me last night, "How can you stand all your plants touching?"

    She likes all her plants segmented and encircled in a sea of brown mulch. Not me. I've always been attracted to that packed cottage gardening look that looks just a little bit wild.

    I'm encouraging my husband to buy a mulching and bagging mower (you wouldn't think this would require a lot of encouragement, would you?) and once that happens I'm going to save every chipped up dry leaf and mulch with that in the future.

    Maybe, between the ground covers, the compost and the mulched leaves, this will be my last mulch mountain ever.

    By the way, the mulch was delivered four days ago. Haven't touched it yet.

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  8. It seems to be a compost. Anyway you have got a cute dog. Nice blog. beth www.iflorist.co.uk

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