Confused about mulch

heirloomgal

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This is what we are doing this year. We put 2 dog kennels 10 x 10 x 8 together to make a 20 x 10 foot space. We removed 1 foot of the clay topsoil. There are 1 foot wide timbers pressure treated and painted with Thompsons Weatherseal and lined with plastic around the edges. We are in the process of filling it in with mushroom soil, which is a composted soil. There ie landscaping paper under the soil. It will be 12 inches deep. No deer and no rabbits or other critters can get in. It was costly to set up but should ne nice for years.View attachment 40239
That looks awesome! And completely animal proof! Your soil looks very rich, with a good texture. I bet you'll grow a ton in there.
 

Rhodie Ranch

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@AMKuska : oh yes, our fire season has started down here in Oregon already. Last year we lost two towns next to Medford - completely burned down. This year is going to be more difficult to combat fires.

My soil is cracking already. There are deep ruts out in the rough of the golf course. We have clay about 8" down below the fill used to build this house 21 years ago.

I moved up here for more water and lower taxes and brought the Calif drought with me.
 

CDitzel

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That looks awesome! And completely animal proof! Your soil looks very rich, with a good texture. I bet you'll grow a ton in there.
Today we got 2 large tractor tires from a tractor dealership. They were thrilled to be rid of them and asked us to tell our neighbors. Cost: only the gas for the pickup and what the soil and flowers cost. Any ideas what to plant in them?
This is what we did with our retaining wall last fall. 500 bulbs planted there.
 

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heirloomgal

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Today we got 2 large tractor tires from a tractor dealership. They were thrilled to be rid of them and asked us to tell our neighbors. Cost: only the gas for the pickup and what the soil and flowers cost. Any ideas what to plant in them?
This is what we did with our retaining wall last fall. 500 bulbs planted there.
Beautiful tulips! I've seen some pretty amazing squash/pumpkin/melon plants growing in large tires. They love the heat contained in those, and they can ramble over the sides too. Not sure if you are thinking edibles or flowers...
 
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RebeccaRN

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I've been studying garden health a lot recently, and many places are recommending a mulch cover to help keep the soil warmth, water, and nutrients in, while also keeping pests out. I'm going to try mulching this year, but the different methods I've read have me confused. One recommends I use compost as a mulch, and others recommend things like straw etc.

I'm confused about using compost as a mulch. Compost to me is a soil additive, so isn't it then soil when you layer it on top? Won't it still run off if it's watered?
Check out the back to eden method on you tube.
 

ducks4you

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This article is Excellent for teaching about compost and the utilitarian uses.
 

ducks4you

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This is one way that I study gardening. Enjoying the links!
See how many ways you already use to keep gardening affordable.
 

Prairie Rose

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I was the one who poisoned a huge chunk of my garden soil by bringing in properly composted manure from animals that had been fed hay sprayed with herbicides that wouldn't break down running through the animals or in the heat of the pile. I had to switch my garden methods entirely, and to this day (it's probably been almost 10+ years now that I think of it) a huge chunk of that area doesn't grow anything but wild strawberries.

I use anything I can get my hands on for mulch; straw, old hay, shredded junk mail, untreated wood chip mulch....just no manure. I have access to horse manure in a couple of places, but it's not composted. Friend of mine with a 20 stall boarding stable used to have a huge compost pile that kept her husband out of her hair tending to it, and she would apply it on her pastures every winter. I could come get as much as I wanted, no questions asked. It ignited and caught a bunch of timber on fire during a drought one summer when the balance of greens and brown were off. Now she's not allowed to compost manure anymore; the EPA comes and checks every month that there's nothing outside of her approved manure pit, which gets hauled to the landfill every two weeks. It's sad to see how much fertility her pastures have lost without the thin layer of compost they got every fall, even though she fertilizes with chemicals now. My other friend with horses doesn't even try to compost anything, her stall cleanings go straight into the dumpster. Both of them feed and medicate their animals with supplements and medicines that I wouldn't even think of bringing that product onto my place without it being properly composted.

I bought mushroom compost in bulk last year and tossed about two inches onto my gardens beneath a three inch layer of wood chip mulch. Most of it is already composted in place this year, but I am going to try green mulches this year. Interplanting my plants with a lot of spreading annuals (think alyssum, irish moss, etc) and in the places that won't work, chopping tall grass and just tossing it thickly on the beds.

Out of everything I have tried, I think the horse manure made the biggest difference in my beds. I know a lot of the british gardening books call for using compost as a mulch, and they put it on 4 to 6 inches deep. I think the theory is that a layer that thick will block out light to keep seeds from sprouting, and the nutrient runoff would be minimal, just off the top layer. Without any kind of livestock producing biomass for me to compost, I am never going to generate the kind of compost I would need to even do a bed a year that deep. I've been burned once bringing in compost from outside sources, I won't do it again. I have seriously considered getting a couple of mini ponies, just to feed my gardening habit, lol.
 

ducks4you

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Friend of mine with a 20 stall boarding stable used to have a huge compost pile that kept her husband out of her hair tending to it, and she would apply it on her pastures every winter. I could come get as much as I wanted, no questions asked. It ignited and caught a bunch of timber on fire during a drought one summer when the balance of greens and brown were off. Now she's not allowed to compost manure anymore; the EPA comes and checks every month that there's nothing outside of her approved manure pit, which gets hauled to the landfill every two weeks. It's sad to see how much fertility her pastures have lost without the thin layer of compost they got every fall, even though she fertilizes with chemicals now. My other friend with horses doesn't even try to compost anything, her stall cleanings go straight into the dumpster. Both of them feed and medicate their animals with supplements and medicines that I wouldn't even think of bringing that product onto my place without it being properly composted.

Out of everything I have tried, I think the horse manure made the biggest difference in my beds. I've been burned once bringing in compost from outside sources, I won't do it again. I have seriously considered getting a couple of mini ponies, just to feed my gardening habit, lol.
:oops::oops::oops:
THIS is absolutely SHOCKING!!
How Dare the EPA be so intrusive!
If somebody wants to be stupid and burn down their property it is really NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT's BUSINESS!!
You cannot help medicate livestock. They Have to have innoculations against tetanus, rabies, west nile virus, eastern & western encephalitis (sleeping sickness), which, btw, is rampant this year and PEOPLE can get it, no virus shot for us!
We HAVE to deworm them, or else watch them get sick and possibly die from internal parasites.
I don't worry about ANY of these things making their way into my food.
Manure from grass eating livestock should NEVER get hauled and dumped in a landfill.
Funny, I can't get my manure piles to even heat up, and I don't worry about it. I wait for 1-2 years to let nature decompose them.
Sorry for the rant on your thread, @Prairie Rose !
 

Dirtmechanic

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:oops::oops::oops:
THIS is absolutely SHOCKING!!
How Dare the EPA be so intrusive!
If somebody wants to be stupid and burn down their property it is really NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT's BUSINESS!!
You cannot help medicate livestock. They Have to have innoculations against tetanus, rabies, west nile virus, eastern & western encephalitis (sleeping sickness), which, btw, is rampant this year and PEOPLE can get it, no virus shot for us!
We HAVE to deworm them, or else watch them get sick and possibly die from internal parasites.
I don't worry about ANY of these things making their way into my food.
Manure from grass eating livestock should NEVER get hauled and dumped in a landfill.
Funny, I can't get my manure piles to even heat up, and I don't worry about it. I wait for 1-2 years to let nature decompose them.
Sorry for the rant on your thread, @Prairie Rose !
These would be large commercial sized piles.
 

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