Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Many Uses for Mulch

 In this post I thought I would tell you about some of the progress we are making on our property (the post that I am trying to do on Saturdays - but haven't managed to do lately) and also share with you some thoughts on using mulch (a Homesteading post that I try to do on Mondays - but you are getting the combined post on Tuesday this week - that is just how things are going around here just now).

After we did the clearing that we needed to do on our property to make room for a house, garage, garden, septic drain field and driveway we have many piles of firewood and a bunch of piles of brush too. There were either 10 or 11 piles of brush and some of them were pretty large.

   The brush was in the way and we tried to figure out what we should do about it. We did think about burning it but that was a rather scary prospect as we don't have running water over there yet and we are just at the end of fire season anyway and I don't even know if fires like that are allowed yet (They allow them in the winter- with snow around and generally in the summer when everything is really green and not dry and so forest fires aren't such a big concern) and even if they were allowed it just made us nervous in our heavily forested property. Then we thought about somehow getting a chipper and turning it into mulch. This did sound like a great idea as we like to have mulch to use and that way the brush would actually be used not just wasted. However when we called to check on renting a chipper we were a little surprised at how much that cost ($175 for a day) and wondered if it was truly worth it as you could buy a lot of mulch for that price. However we wanted to get rid of those piles so we went ahead with it.
 Knowing how MUCH brush we had we were really wondering if we could ever get it done in one day. We were so happy to see how fast the chipper would work and as long as we could keep up with feeding it the brush piles quickly disappeared.
 Saturday was one long day (we got up at 6:30 in order to have a good start) but we got it all done and we were so happy about that. We were also incredibly exhausted but have been able to rest since then so we were ready for another busy Saturday this week - this time a wedding. We rented the chipper from ACME and this chipper definitely worked well. It did get clogged up once but we figured out how to unclog it and then it just worked really nice. Ken's only complaint that you couldn't direct the place of the piles real precisely.

  Ken was even able to bring it to our house quickly and he chipped up a pile of brush we had here. Since then we have been putting the mulch to use. This mulch is not treated which is nice on one hand as it is more natural and doesn't have chemicals that are going to go into your soil but it will also not have a "nice" color as long and it may decay faster. For living naturally this is a better mulch.

Here are some of the reasons and ways to use mulch:

  •  In your flower beds. It will help to keep the weeds down, release nutrients into the soil, keep the soil at a more even temperature and help keep moisture in - an important factor for those of us with sandy soil.

  •  Around your trees. Again it keeps the weeds down and moisture in and also it looks nice.
  • To designate pathways and keep the weeds at bay.
  • In your vegetable garden around the plants.

  • Mulch prevents soil compaction during downpours. Loose soil is better for healthy plants.
  • It slows rainwater runoff and helps reduce soil erosion.
  • It keeps dirt from splashing on flowers and veggies when it rains.

 There are some warnings when using mulch too as it can cause your soil to stay cool to long in the Spring and some other things as well. To see more information about mulching I found this site helpful.

 Do you use mulch? I would love to hear about your experiences and tips concerning mulch. Also what type of mulch do you like to use. Wood chips is only one of the many types.

I will be linking this to some of the parties on my sidebar.

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