The Mulchmeister

20190110_151300I could be the Mulchmeister, given the love/ hate relationship with mulch that I have nurtured for years. I love the appearance mulch gives the garden – a soothing blanket of hopefully brownish material, tucking all the plants in for good growth, saving water and helping keep weeds at bay.

Unfortunately, I hate to mulch. Below is the usual result of me buying 5 bags of bark mulch. After 3, I can’t deal with schlepping the bags around anymore and it stays in the garden so long the plastic bags are rendered rust colored from the iron in the well water. And the weeds! Arggh. Florida Jurassic weeds. Oddly, the bark is still fresh as a daisy inside the bag – making me wonder what is on the stuff and in the vegetables I grow?

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I am learning to love again with an old friend, pinestraw. Some call it pine needles, naturally shed by Pine trees! A good thing and more sustainable than chopping down and chopping up trees to use for mulch. It occurred to me to seek out pinestraw as I was working on a project in Atlanta, using pinestraw as mulch. For some reason, pinestraw is very uncommon in South Florida-even though it is harvested in North Florida.

I began the search and after a bit of asking around was gifted with 10 bags of QuickStraw, just in time for Christmas. Compressed and bagged for storage, I can move these around easily and am not ending up covered in mulch.

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I scraped the Jurassic weeds off, put down some brown woven (the key to long lasting fabric) weed control fabric and mulched with the QuickStraw.

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Ahhh, cozy plants, just waiting for everything to grow together.

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17 comments on “The Mulchmeister

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Looks neat and trim! I like the shells creating contrast.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Christina says:

    The mulch I loved the best was derived from cocoa husks. It was really light in weight and smelled of CHOCOLATE!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. When I started reading, I was thinking of suggesting pinestraw which I find much lighter and easier to handle. For some reason it is difficult to buy here, but luckily we have lots of pine trees and I just rake it up.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. tonytomeo says:

    That is odd looking mulch. We do not mulch here because there is so much debris from the redwoods. It naturally smothers any weeds that can grow in the dark shade from all the foliage that is still up in the trees. The mulch that I use in the Santa Clara Valley is composted fir bark from the timber industry. It is quite fine, just a bit coarser than sawdust.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We mulch too, Amy, at least the front beds. Will the pine needles break down and change the ph balance of the soil?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. krcc says:

    Lovely garden. I too buy mulch. Too many fire ants here that mulching is impossible. Great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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