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Old 06-09-2014, 06:39 AM   #21
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Using oak/maple leaves. Maple leaves are more dense and can be used in sheet mulching. Applied a 3-4" layer of maple leaves and most of the grass is dead or weakened.

Wisteria leaves where the invasive vines are all over. Cut the green vines and leaves and age for a week and then can be easily applied. This dries out the vine stem so it doesn't resprout.

Himalayian blackberry. Create a makeshift shelf with some sticks and dry out out the canes and the leaves will drop. Same with any raspberry/blackberry.

Yew cuttings. Trimming back a yew has a lot of vine branches with needles. I use this to mulch under my blueberries. Not sure if it makes it more acidic.

Growing grasses as mulch. Big bluestem, Indian grass, Canadian Wild Rye, Switchgrass. Can be cut and dropped anywhere. Mines deep in the soil for nutrients. Can be cut in the winter and applied but risk of seeds.

Cup Plant might be another biomass plant for mulching.

External inputs of wood chips are nice to work with.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:38 PM   #22
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Using...biomass plant for mulching.
I like how you think, rockerBOO.

I've thought of it before, but just last week, I decided that I will use mugwort and Japanese knotweed (both before they flower and go to seed) as mulch over cardboard for smothering sections for my future meadow plantings. There sure is a LOT of biomass there--it might as well be used for something productive...although the idea of harvesting it all with a sickle seems a bit daunting.

I've used the mugwort in the past, but never over cardboard (which I think is the key).
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:28 AM   #23
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Scythe might be faster. Maybe 2x as slow as a riding lawn mower (I think). If the motion is done correctly its about as easy as golfing without having to chase the balls. It is how they mowed for hay in the past.

Your plants will really take off when you plant them in the sheet mulch area. Thats a lot of green energy being added to the soil. Should get really hot this summer like a hot compost and kill everything if it stays semi moist.



Cutting back can open holes for natives to mature. 6" is the recommended height. Also allowing a goat/sheep grazing to come through can help open up some holes in the cool season grasses. If you can get short term cattle, they will focus on grasses more than wildflowers.

Also knotweed can be cut and dried and used as bad supports in the garden. Maybe added to smaller bamboo stakes to make them longer. Knotweed is also edible, but only tastes any good at a young age when it tastes like asparagus. Edible later too but is to fibrous.
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:45 PM   #24
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Hmmm...I have a sickle...but no scythe. Maybe after some tedious sickling, I will be tempted to buy one.

Very interesting to know knower is edible. I do like (and grow) asparagus...still, I'm wary trying new things sometimes.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:24 PM   #25
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No real budget. Everything is being paid for by me. And a few donations from teachers.
I Think it is so great that you do this. I would be more than happy to donate any way I could.
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:25 AM   #26
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Something to toy with
Quiz: What's Your Mulch Personality?
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Old 11-12-2015, 02:28 AM   #27
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I took the quiz, and I'm an 'organic mulcher', which is a polite way of saying: "I'm a cheap old guy, that isn't about to go to the store and buy a bag of their stuff, when I can probably make-do with something I've got laying around already"!

I still use leaf litter primarily as mulch, I find if I have trouble with leaves 'blowing off'...I throw some sticks on top of it. Once the leaves have 'stayed there a while', they mat together somewhat and don't try to run away anymore...unless disturbed.

I also like to sprinkle already chopped leaves on top of the matted leaves, it looks a little more uniform, and it helps the course leaves break down faster & stay in place. And if I get real 'fancy', I'll like the look of nice dark compost on top of that...but weeds can jump into the compost pretty easily, so I mainly use just the chopped leaves.

Sometimes I just pull weeds and leave them on top, but looks kind of trashy, so most of the time I throw my weeds in the compost area, until they become more 'uniform in texture & color', or I 'cover up' the weeds scraps with more shredded leaves. Oft times, I use tree bark & chips, swept up from my firewood processing area, there again, kind of 'clunky looking'...they last a year or two, and various mushrooms often grow in the areas with tree bark mulch, and various bugs and stuff is inherent in tree bark (which is a good thing usually).

During Fall, I will rake up all the mulch from various sites, and transport to the compost area. And fresh chopped leaves is eventually reinstalled around the plants, hopefully before any snow shows up. Except, the bulb type plants, if I put thick mulch on them in the fall, they try to grow...which is not good at that time, so I usually leave the bulb flowers uncovered from mulch, for the winter. During the late spring, I try to make sure everything is mulched pretty heavily, in advance of the summer sunshine.

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Old 11-12-2015, 09:35 AM   #28
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I'm not to proud to admit I as well am cheap ole gal. Organic all the way!
Except for a few bags of the chocolate scented cocoa chips for the grandsons rock fort we dug.

You don't find me running to the store to buy mulch. One year I ran into a huge pile of chopped leaves left by a past owner. Bucket by bucket I hauled them home to top off my beds. Here and there I go to the mink farm and collect doo doo Nice way of stating things isn't it (PU!!!!)
Not a very pleasant task but it's free and I think adding fish fed critter litter must benefit the plants one way or another. Rabbit rounds, straw bails found roadside, wood chips left from the toppled trees in the way of the telephone lines, Small critter bedding, laundry fluff, bird cage debris, what has naturally fallen beneath the cedars, fallen long quill needles... whatever woodsy decompostable items, (rotting stumps) I can find to toss on top and add to the soils water holding, nutrient enriching goodness.

This week I ran into more freebees. We purchased a fixer upper of a home where someone lit a fire to a pot grower-dealers garage where he was raising the stuff (Legally or so everyone has stated) I went to gathering buckets and buckets of the best soil you could ever imagine. I then noticed outside under the porch a lot of half buried 8x12 or so paving stones. Well you guessed it...A couple days later I went back and popped those out and hauled them home. Tomorrows haul....Some kind of man made bricks and their L shaped corner pieces which I figure I can tap into the soil and edge something with in the future. They actually appear like real quarried rocks! All irregular and different in their shapes.
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Old 11-16-2015, 02:01 PM   #29
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musical notes4 You can be proud around me any old time....

The title of this post, sounds like a John Anderson song, hey it's free, so sing away dear havalotta, on your way to your next adventure!

[QUOTE "Except for a few bags of the chocolate scented cocoa chips for the grandsons rock fort we dug." havalotta /] your not teaching that kid to eat dirt I hope!!! (I heard that dirt has bacteria & stuff in it)

Oh that mink stuff sounds very nutritious for your plants. Just a note for you, that you probably already know, but try some of that 'laundry dryer lint', next time you want to light a camp fire or whatever, I save all my laundry lint for tendering a fire, in case you thought I missed something!

Hummmmp you must have the scientific variety dope growers up your way, I heard they grow it down here in same dirt that Poke grows in. Well I'm glad you made a haul on the improved dirt & pavers too. That reminds me, I spotted some scrap limestone the other day, that I've gotta remember to bring home for Destiny's purpose.

This song is for you havalotta.

You can be proud around me any old time...

~~~~~~and one day as the seasons divide

~~~~~~the old time songs will recognize

~~~~~~just what a pleasure it is to be a friend

~~~~~~not too proud to help anyone pitch in

You can be proud around me any old time...

~~~~~~sing your songs & make them rhyme

~~~~~~gather the roughness, and make it shine

~~~~~~be it bricks, pallets, or homemade wine

~~~~~~all the while, looking for a new sign

You can be proud around me any old time...

~~~~~~with your torn britches & gash in your hand

~~~~~~resizeing that wedding band

~~~~~~keep things fun, and make a stand

~~~~~~with your natural blue-green decor near the sand

You can be proud around me any old time...

hahaha well there is half a song,,,maybe, but don't ask me how to sing it!!!

wildone
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Old 11-18-2015, 08:44 PM   #30
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I prefer the cheap stuff as well and use chopped up leaves or grass clippings (over cardboard) whenever I can. That being said, with less and less lawn to mow, I usually end up running out of grass clippings...and I only have leaves in the fall. So, I end up buying a few bags of the plain, uncolored, untreated cypress mulch that we sell at the store where I work. I'd could get plenty of grass clippings from my neighbor, "Mr Mows-A-Lot" if he didn't have an immaculawn loaded with chemicals. I don't want to add that to my native plantings. YUCK!!!
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