Thursday, August 16, 2012

Making Our Own Mulch....

This weekend we began working on our 'Fall Garden' area of the back yard. In the process of cleaning up the back property line of trees that overhang our fence, we discovered that we were going to end up with at least 2-3 trailer loads of tree limbs going to the dump. At $40.00 a load that's getting pretty expensive and with the burn ban in effect because of the drought, we couldn't take that route. With some problem solving thought we came up with the idea of renting a wood chipper for $151.00s from Home Depot. Since we were going to end up having to buy mulch anyway for the garden beds, we hope to end up with usable mulch for free when all is said and done.

Why Mulch?
Mulching is essential to the survival of your landscape during a drought. Mulch will reduce the amount of water that evaporates from your soil, greatly reducing your need to water your plants.

• Mulch improves the quality of your soil by breaking up clay and allowing better water and air movement through the soil.
• Mulch acts as an insulating layer on top of soil, keeping it cooler in the summer. Roots like that!
• Mulch keeps weeds down, and the weeds that do grow are much easier to pull. We like that!

To make wood-chip type mulch, just shred the healthy limbs. We had ours blow on a tarp with the hopes of easy catching and moving when we are ready to begin the process of preparing it to be used. Please note that if you use wood chip mulch on a garden, the plants in the garden will have less nitrogen to work with, since the nitrogen will be going to help decompose the wood. So, for us, an easy answer is using our chicken manure to add in extra nitrogen by mixing in or placing it under the mulch.

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