Fall Cleanup and Mulch

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This is how the garden looks now. On Sunday we pulled out all of the dead annuals, including the tomato and basil plants. I still have to trim back some of the perennials and cut away the dead vines that are hanging on the front and back fence. But for the most part, our fall cleanup is finished.

We put four wheelbarrows of leaf mulch on top of the soil in most places. This, I hope, will help to enrich the ground by springtime.

Speaking of mulch and compost and related matters, John over at Spade Work posted an interesting question: Is it better to use bagged compost or manure? I've sometimes wondered what all comes in the bagged stuff, and where it comes from. And manure? Well, we once considered putting horse manure on our plot, but I wondered how long it would need to sit and decompose before it would be safe to plant anything in the soil. I really don't know. And, boy, I just wasn't really looking forward to picking up a truckload of horse muck. Probably not fun.

I'm sticking with leaf mulch for now. The community garden provided it for free, so that made it an easy decision this time around.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea with the leaf mulch. It will certainly encourage those worms to come and feed. Your soil should be brimming by spring.

I've tried this too from time to time. It's far better than leaving the soil barren.

Love to see how it turns out.

12:28 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Horse manure is great, but it needs to "cook" in black plastic bags for at least six months before it's considered "well rotted". Also, compost brings low amounts of all the minerals and nutrients you can think of, while manure brings mostly nitrogen. Great for lettuce, but not something you want on your root crops - or any crop that isn't primarily grown for its leaves, for that matter. You'll get rampant growth and no produce! :)

6:03 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Great information, Diana. Thank you! I always thought manure would benefit the soil for all crops. That's really helpful to know that it's best for growth of leafy greens.

5:32 PM  

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