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Old 01-22-2009, 04:18 PM   #11
Heron
 
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So you really use purple prairie clover as a cover crop?

It just seems to bunchy and sporadic for me. I've tried to grow it in a couple landscape beds and it doesn't flourish and fill in like I would like for a bed... (maybe its my soil or the area was too shady)...
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:09 PM   #12
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I have purple prairie clover here but I haven't been using it as a cover crop. I have been using white prairie clover as a cover crop. I use the purple prairie clover as an ornamental. They're both full sun plants.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:23 PM   #13
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Hi Lorax ... Yes, I'm interested in a mild-mannered native alternative to Dutch white clover, something that could do well in south Louisiana. But I'm afraid I've wandered into the wrong topic. I don't think I'm looking for mulch. (Sorry!) I have enough leaves and unwanted red bark for a lifetime of mulch. I'm was hoping for a food source for bees and butterflies, something to fill the gap when not much is blooming, and something to enrich the soil.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:41 PM   #14
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Clarification. I am not using the Dutch white clover. I'm using Dalea candida.

Wander where you want. No one minds. It's fun when people wander.

Leslie, sponge information from this site- http://www.biophilia.net/#Biophilia
sponge from this one too, http://www.lnps.org/
You can e-mail them with specific questions. They're good people. They might not get back to you right away but they will.

Do you have a library anywhere near you? If you do please think about borrowing Douglas Tallamy's book "Bringing Nature Home'. You would get a lot out of reading that book.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:35 PM   #15
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We have loads of oak leaves in our yard so we just chop them up with a mower and use them as mulch. I like them chopped up fine. I think they look as good as a wood chip mulch and they break down and enrich the soil really well. We covered the garden with about a three inch layer over the winter, then dug it in just a couple of weeks ago and our garden soil looks great! And we have so many that remulching is no problem. I've got two huge compost bins we built that are stuffed full and I've mulched nearly every bed and still have tons of leaves! I'd be crazy to buy mulch.
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:07 PM   #16
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will-o-wisp,do you just lay the cut grass on the ground or do you cut it up into smaller sections first? Does it hold in place like straw? How about home made, not quite decompsed compost,does anyone use it like mulch?
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:13 PM   #17
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I just took a good look at the picture...LOL I guess that answers my question to will-o-wisp. I like the way that looks.
I keep forgetting to check if there are other pages before posting. Please bear with me as I acclimate to the site.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:49 PM   #18
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Hi Gloria, the mulch in the photo is pine needles but when I run out of them that is exactly the way I use the grass in the paths. If I use the dried Switch grass in a smaller space among plants I cut them in smaller sections.

I have used not quite decomposed compost as mulch but usually in areas that I covered with newspaper to suppress weeds and layer the compost over it. I then cut into the newspaper to plant any plants.
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:06 PM   #19
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I've been using coconut coir, which I can collect here in the Bahamas myself. It's my understanding, though, that it is gaining in popularity because it's renewable, unlike cypress. The pith is also supposed to be superb for soiless seed sprouting. It has a neutral PH and can be reused. Again, it wins out over peat moss, which is not so renewable. I guess the bottom line though, is that using what's at hand is usually the best solution.
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:05 AM   #20
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I love that you all really do your research. I hate that some very well-known authors continue to spread a lot of misinformation. But you guys really do your homework. I so appreciate that, and that you all freely share what you have learned. I'm all about research myself and am glad to find others who are as well.
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