Thursday, April 02, 2009

My New Mulching Experiment

I used to think that trees and shrubs with mulch around them look silly and high-falutin'. Don't ask, just an odd prejudice I picked up, I guess. My mom never mulched her trees, and if that was good enough for her, it was good enough for me. What I never stopped to consider was that her trees were firmly established before I was even born, and baby shrubs and plants just cannot compete with grass choking them out.

So I'm turning over a new leaf, and changing my ways. From now on, I will mulch everything, enthusiastically and happily. Here's how I began:
I used a section of newspaper, tore it to about the middle and placed in on the grass around the base of the stem of each plant. You can't see it really great, but yes, there is a tiny little forsythia in there struggling for life. Then I place the straw, which was pretty heavy and wet from being outside and getting rained on since Dec., around the edges of the newspaper. I left it in the thick sort of sheet that it forms as it comes off the bale, so it would be plenty dense to block the weeds. I did this for our two blueberry bushes, our two grape vines, our four forsythia, and I'm planning to finish the other big forsythia, my rose of sharon, and the live-forever-never-die (i don't know what they're really called) flowers that I planted last fall on either side of the the end of the driveway. I have ten baby trees on their way to me from the Arbor Day Foundation as well, so when I put those in, they're definately getting the same treatment. I'm becoming a fanatic, and if I thought Ben would let me get away with it, I would line either side of the driveway its self with cardboard and wet down newspaper and bury it in straw. I am now the mad mulcher!

Also, I always thought the neighbors looked at me oddly because I'm a homemaker, so I don't work a job away from home, and I have chickens, and I have a big garden, and I mulch with newspapers and rotten straw instead of dyed wood chips, and I'm always wandering around taking pictures of things. But now I think perhaps this could have as much to do with it:

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Mary said...

I have Blueberry bushes as a hedge along the front of my house. A good idea for blueberry bushes is to mulch them with pine needles if you can get them. The Blueberry bushes love acid and the pine needles provide the acid for them. I got some from my neighbor this year. I caught him raking them up so I went to asking. :)

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

I heart mulch! :)

Bethany said...

Mary, thanks for the advice about the pine needles. I'm unsure where to get any, so I thought I'd try to find some acid-loving organic fertilizer. But I'll also definately be on the lookout for any pine mulch I can scrounge up.

Jennifer, it's definately growing on me as well.

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