Monday, May 21, 2018

Mulch Madness

For all you mulch happy gardeners out there I too am a believer. I have always been a disciple of the great mulchers of America. Some would say the Facebook group of The Garden Professors is all about using arborist mulch, you know, the rowdy and stringy chipper mulch from the professional and kind of professional tree trimmers. And yes that seems to be a ongoing subject over there, but I have to admit in my experience that aborist mulch has always been a part of success in my gardening adventures. Back in the day (early 90's) when I first experienced the fruits of free arborist mulch, I was reluctant to use the mulch as it was so stringy and "dirty looking". It had masses of limbs, sticks, stumps, green trimmed foliage and other foul things I care not to mention. However, my arborist friends would deliver in truckloads for free, much to the chagrin of my two young boys who were volunteered into the world of mulch madness. Yes they even gifted me a two wheeled barrow for fathers day. 
One specific load of mulch I remember fondly was from a customer who wanted her cedar firewood ground and taken away, it was the most beautiful pile of mulch I had ever seen. 
Now there has been times when I have have purchased store bought mulch, mostly for garden tours or special visitors coming to the garden, but when you have a garden this size it is expensive for mulch that breaks down eventually. 

Our recent spring weather has been very cool and I had some concern about the emergence of many of the plants in the native plant garden in the hell strip. This was also the first spring in a while that we left the cut down of the previous years foliage around the trimmed plants and added 3-4" of arborist mulch on top of that. But alas all the plants burst out sooner of later. There were some newly fall planted grasses that we were careful in not covering up completely. The images below show the various depths of mulch. So enjoy your mulch madness too!

Below some man-bagged cedar mulch
This image is from an area that has not received the arborist mulch yet.
The mulch wagon full of our town's recycle center free arborist mulch.
Still have the mulch wagon my boys gave me. The piece of goat panel is used to screen the larger pieces stems out which in turn go to the dog run for packing into the soil.
This is the material for the dog run. 


  1. That hell strip looks good!
    I personally don't like store-bought mulch and I don't buy it. I try to place plants close to each other not to leave a space for weeds. I use my own compost and sometimes, grass clippings to cover bare soil. Our summers are not so hot as yours (we used to live in Lee's Summit, MO), so it works.
    Happy gardening to you!

    1. I agree about plants being close for weed prevention. However that’s a lot of plants to cover that area. Eventually they will cover. I go through Lees Summit quite often to see my son in Columbia, MO. Pretty country for sure and humid.

  2. Yes, mulch is a good thing! I try to do what Tatyana does, too, but in areas where I need to walk, or I'm counting on plants to spread over time, etc., I do use mulch. My favorite mulch is marsh hay from a local farm. It's free of weed seeds and it knits together and doesn't fly off in the wind. It also decomposes over time and adds nutrients to the soil. I also like cedar mulch. Your hellstrip is looking great!

    1. Thanks Beth. I’ve noticed recently quite a bit of noxious weeds springing up and I think it’s from the mulch. I’ve had nutgrass sprout thorough bagged mulch before too.

  3. Over the last several years I've gravitated to free, pine straw for mulch. In my southeast Texas area, the pine straw is readily available, usually sitting on the curb, neatly bagged and ready to be hauled-off by the garbage men. I hate to see it go to waste, so I "curb shop" with my pickup, and put the straw to work in my flower beds and garden. Yep - Im cheap, but it works for me :) I like your idea of using the aborist muclh. I'll have to give it a shot. Thanks for sharing the info, and best of luck with your spring gardening.

  4. Thanks for stopping by. I would love to have some pine needles for mulch, not many pines around here.


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