Saturday, May 28, 2011

Direct Mulching

I have talked about mulching around your plants and how that organic matter will break down during the summer and feed your plants as well as help with weed control.

Mulching your vegetable garden or flowers plot with other organic matter that you would rather not just sit on top of the ground can be down in several ways.  You can construct a mulch pile by starting with a layer of dirt, maybe 4 to 6 inches, adding organic matter such as vegetable or fruit peels, coffee grounds,  which would include your coffee filters,grass clippings, leaves etc then adding another layer or dirt and alternating until the mulch bin was full and then start another one.  Turning the mulch pile(airing it) from time to time will help the organic breakdown or you can just let it sit and it will break down on its own but will take a little longer.

My Grandmother and Father would do direct mulching.  That is, they would put any of the kitchen leavings in a trench or just dig a hole and cover it.  I think this was more a process of disposing of "messy" garbage for my grandmother than it was organic gardening at first.  Time was, regular garbage pick up was not available so digging a hole and covering with dirt was a sanitary way of disposing of kitchen and garden waste.  When people could see that grass or garden vegetable would thrive over these "holes" the light bulb went off that this must be a good thing.  Of course, Native American Indians could have told you that before the light bulb.

It is an absolute must that all refuse be covered well with dirt.  If you don't, you are giving a fertile breeding ground for files and misquotes and more to lay eggs to reek havoc on your garden and make your gardening experience miserable.

Since I don't have a much pile to dump winter refuse into I put my winter waste into tightly closed plastic containers and set them on my porch.  My porch is cool and the tightly covered containers keep the smell at bay.  Then in the Spring I can dig a ditch, pour in the winter gold and cover.  This feeds the garden globally where the mulching around the plant during the growing season feeds the plants directly.

Organic matter will break down to encourage worms to visit your garden and when rototilled in, break up any type of clay soil you have all the while adding great vegetable or flower food to your beds.

Meat product should not be put into your garden, it encourages meat eating animals to visit and dig in your garden.  If you want to add chicken, beef or pork bones to your garden make sure your holE is at leas 8 to 12 inches deep and add lime to the hole.  The lime will break down the bones faster and keep the smell under check to keep meat eating animals(dogs) from digging in your garden.  Bone meal and fish meal are sold commercially and are great additives for your garden but it they still smell good...dogs and cats will dig for them.  If you fish, clean your fish into a bucket and added the fish guts and bones to the garden with a little lime.

BOTTOM LINE:  Only paper, plastic and metal products should be going into the garbage can if you plant a garden almost anything else can go into your garden.  Save our planet and bury your organic garbage, even in the flower beds or just in your lawn. Dig around a clup of lawn and take the grass off top.  Dig your hole, deposit the organic matter, put the dirt back in and top with your grass plug.  Tamp into the ground and voila lawn fertilizing.


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