Mulching This week in the garden Week 8
Mulching This week in the garden week 8
After a dry period, maybe the longest since early in the year, I have been able to take care of some more tidying and mulching.
That has involved taking back the old stems and withered foliage that had been attractive with a little winter frost. Now the frost has gone it just looks plain untidy without it.
But it did provide some protection to crowns and emerging shoots when the occasional frost did arrive. Now that untidy protection has gone, a good mulch of home brewed compost is needed to protect for a few weeks. This will be worked into the ground by bugs and worms.
For me mulching is not about weed suppression; I hope the plant density will do most of that for me. It’s about providing a spring nutrition boost, and long-term soil improvement.
In the 3 years since my annual compost production was sufficient, the improvement in flower borders and raised beds has been fantastic. But the underlying silty clay needs to be constantly managed. So a good load each spring and prior to any new planting keeps it in check.
Home grown compost for mulching
The volume required makes having your own compost supply essential. My 8 square meters plus leaf mould bins just about copes with the demand. To buy that in would cost a fortune. getting manure from a local farm delivered starts at about £50. The garden economics I use makes that £45 too much.
The material cleared from the flower borders has formed a new woody layer in the compost heap. Just as well as I have only about 1 cubic meter of compost ready. I have mown the grass once since New Years Day, but there is not enough real growth in it to provide the soft material needed for the next layer. A layer of partially rotted leaves will do instead for now.
Next week is pruning week, with roses, dogwoods and a small tree to attend to. What does not get used for cuttings will be shredded for yet another layer in the compost bin.