Mulchpocalypse II: Son of Mulch

By September 20, 2011 My Garden 45 Comments

Mulch, I think, is like heroin.


The more you get, the more you need. Seven cubic yards, which seemed a truly apocalyptic amount this last spring, caused me to build multiple new beds, expand others, etc, etc.

I just had nine cubic yards delivered, because I need more.

In addition to building the new beds, which I gotta do, and throwing a large quantity down over areas that I intend to get to in a year or two, and wish to start improving soil fertility/quashing weeds on now, I also need to re-mulch the old beds, because mulch breaks down over time, which is great for soil enrichment purposes, but not so good for weed-suppressing purposes. I had been reduced to doling out mulch one shovelful at a time, because I was running low. Finally I said “To hell with it!” and ordered more. (Also got some topsoil/chicken manure mix to use for the new vegetable bed that I’m putting in. It is glorious. It has tilth. I kinda want to roll around in it, but that would compress it and make it less glorious.)

So getting too much mulch caused me to build more beds, which now need more mulch, which required me to get more mulch, which will cause me to build more beds which will then require mulching and the end result of all of this is that I will have forearms like a dockworker and blisters the size of tangerines.

But this should be enough mulch.

Until next year.


  • Ellis says:

    You feel better going to a support group that tells you your soil is shit (so’s mine and I’m in Canada, it’s universal problem). I feel better knowing I’m not the only one who gets all toe tense and squeally over dirt. My children want to put me away for senile dementia and I’m not even 45.

    I haven’t succumb to rolling in it yet but I’ve sure buried my arms up to my elbows in it before and wiggled my fingers ( garden boxes, I’ve got about an inch of screened loam and then 500 feet of the clay that would be great for throwing pots if I could get a licence for a kiln).

    My Great Grandfather used to swear by chicken manure, said it was the best and he had access to them all, having all the hairy creature on his farm so I tend to believe him. The neighbour got Llama manure this year, so I’ll be watching that with interest. It was cheap and came prepackaged in great big bushel bags. The local horse manure from the mushroom farm has to loaded into something you bring. Not so great for the mini van.

  • FiP says:

    My property in Australia has DIRE soil; clay/shale/acid. Even the natives don’t like it and run crying tears of dust. I got chooks (this means “chicken” in Australian. I’m told it’s not a universally-known term) specifically to improve the soil. Then I got more chooks ‘cos they’re sort of addictive.

    Three years on, I have soil. I have _earthworms_ in the soil. I can put my shovel into the ground right to the haft and not bend it or break my arms with shale-induced whiplash. My glee at this soil knows no bounds and luckily my neighbours are kilometres away so couldn’t see me squealing “SOIL!!!!”.

    I fed an earthworm to the chooks who were following me around looking hopefully for curl grubs (a pest of lawns but I don’t have lawn, so they’re a treasure in my mulch). They looked at me scornfully and spat it out. They _really_ don’t see worms a lot.

    I remain unconvinced by chippy mulches. It only works as moisture retention if there’s moisture to be retained. Otherwise, it operates as a sponge and sucks moisture OUT of the soil it’s meant to be protecting. I found it worse than useless in the middle of an Australian drought and gave up in favour of straw, which does at least break down into soil without requiring too much liquid.

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