Monday, December 21, 2009

Mulching


Today we finally had a decent day for outdoor work. It was sunny, in the low 50s, and no wind. I took advantage of it and did some mulching and weeding.

I got two big loads of pine straw at a nearby neighborhood that has lots of pine trees. As you can see, the Camellia Walk needed some attention.





I did some weeding and spread a thick layer of pine straw throughout the border. Pine straw is one of my favorite mulches. I think it looks great but it does have to be replaced often. It stays where you put it and will stay in place even in heavy rains. We've used it on fairly steep banks with no problems. Pine straw is very acidic but you don't have to worry about it affecting your soil's ph level.



22 comments:

  1. Your photos depict one of the main reasons I like gardening: instant gratification. What a transformation. I bet you'll sleep well tonight.

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  2. I prefer pinestraw...it's the most attractive of the natural mulches...gives a garden a finished appearance. Yours looks wonderful. gail

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  3. I thought I was over pine straw and tried the lovely "long-lasting" black mulch. It looked great for a day, LOVED it against the green plants, but when the rains came- it went. Everywhere. Back to the trusty pinestraw (and termite resistant! Important since we've found several of the blasted critters around).

    What a great day! I was almost tempted to try to plant a few more pansies but I fear the window has closed.

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  4. That's a lot of mulch. I was worried about the pH but since it's not a problem, it seems like a good choice for mulch.

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  5. Oh to be gardening in December, Phillip! The smell of pine is still one of my favorite childhood memories.

    At the garden center where I work I re-discovered cotton burr compost which Annie of the Transplantable Rose revealed was a Texas product. You can use it as a mulch but in addition to that, it actually aids in healing sick plants.

    It's not that easy to find in Chicago as only select garden centers carry it. I just add a layer every winter and allow it to decompose.

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  6. Note to self: Do not covet the contents of thy blogging friend's truck, do not covet the contents of thy blogging friend's truck...

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  7. Meant to add, I haven't noticed any change to my soil's ph with this mulch--it breaks down very slowly and loses acidity as it does.

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  8. Here I'm raking up all my pine needles and I guess I should be leaving them :) Your garden looks all ready for winter now!

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  9. Lovely light in your last photo Phillip. Gee I thought when adding pine needles beneath my Viburnums I was helping make it more acidic for them. I am so envious seeing your green world... Well we do have Hemlocks and Pines. All else is covered in thick layers of glazed and icy snow. Your garden looks lovely! Happy Solstice. Carol

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  10. Like Monica, I am also very envious of your mulch, and the time to work outside! And the truck itself! Your garden looks wonderful, Phillip, so lush and green. Your plantings are suberb, so well thought out. I do hope to see it in person someday. :-)
    Frances

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  11. Pine straw is my favorite mulch as well and is quite abundant here. My neighbors are nice enough to rake it into clear plastic bags then put it on the curb. Somehow in the early morning hours there are fewer bags for the trash collector. Now that their chow has moved on, the bags come without surprises.

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  12. How neat and tidy this looks. Don't you feel just great getting out there to get something accomplished?!! Love that pine straw. I miss our pine trees so much.

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  13. Your garden is so beautiful. I'm sure it will look fantastic for the holidays.

    Happy Holidays!
    Cameron

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  14. I like pine mulch too. Your garden looks great after adding that mulch. It's amazing what a difference a little mulch makes! Which reminds me, I need to do the same thing.

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  15. I used to not like pine straw mulch, but now I use it quite a bit. And now you're making me feel like I need to get out and do some cleanup work.

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  16. It looks great. Wish it was more available in my area. I settle for ground up leaves and they often don't even last one season.
    Marnie

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  17. Isn't it amazing how great mulch can make a garden look. I wish we had the availability of more pine straw, but Oklahoma doesn't have many pine trees. The temperature here goes up and down, but I'm too busy doing the "Christmas Mom" thing, so that I only gaze at the garden in longing. Thanks for giving me a virtual lift.~~Dee

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  18. When I first moved to Louisiana I admit I wasn't a fan of pine straw. The little bed at our house had pine straw and weeds and it was hard to pull the weeds through the straw. But after de-weeding and putting a fatter layer on we had one of those typical Louisiana downpours. You are so right - the straw stays where it is. And it's easily renewable. I'm a fan now! Seeing your beds I realize I need to be doing the same thing!

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  19. Looks great. I like the pinestraw too. I've got to find someone here to get it from. I have everything but pine trees.

    Wishing you all a blessed holiday and Merry Christmas.

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  20. Your lady looks all gussied up for the Christmas party with her new bed of straw.....Have a great Christmas!

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  21. Your camellia walk is lovely. I, too, like to use pine straw. I think we use about 100 bales each year. It really makes the place look nicer and cuts down on weed growth. You have earned some rest now - enjoy the holidays!

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  22. We exclusively use pine straw for mulch - it's what I grew up with! Plus, wood bark mulch is not good if you live in a wooden house in an area with termites.

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