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Thursday, May 23, 2013
Garden Gleanings - New approach to mulchingPosted Saturday, March 1, 2008, at 8:57 PM
4" slats of wood used as mulch
Last year I dismantled a 16' trailer load of skids that had come from overseas and were heat treated hardwood. I have been using them for kindling, but I decided the 4" wide slats might be a good much for my garden beds.
Here are the benefits as I see them:
Straw mulch breaks down quickly in our heat and also blows away. Theses strips of wood between the rows will not do either. Straw or hay can also add unwanted seeds.
Slugs, cuts worms, etc. will hide from the sun under them, so by flipping them over I should be able to hand-pick those buggers and get them out of the garden.
They will protect the soil during downpours (I hope we keep getting them ), will allow the rain to soak in around the plants and retain the moisture from evaporation.
They will also hold down weeds and keep our cats from using the soft soil as a playground and litter box. They were already tested by our youngest cat Cooper as I planted the seedlings seen in the picture. he stepped on the wood, but never got off them as he checked out what I was doing.
They were also a nice platform for me to rest my seedling tray and watering can as I did my planting. They will clean up easily at the end of the year, stack nicely in storage and be reused for at least several seasons.
Since they were heat treated, no preservative was used that might leach into the soil, so they should be compatible with my organic tendencies.
Does anyone see or know of negatives?
What you see there are three different types of Chinese cabbage. Radishes, spinach and swiss chard is also coming up from direct seeding and the first sugar-snap pea emerged this morning.
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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.
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