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American Hosta Society Forum - View topic - Mulch is Your Friend
It is currently Tue Jul 05, 2022 12:22 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
 Mulch is Your Friend 
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Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:18 am
Posts: 40
Post Mulch is Your Friend
A great article from Fine Gardening, leaves are natures mulch and your best friend in the fall or anytime. There are problems with voles and you should bait and trap.

The best method for using leaves as mulch is; grind them with a lawnmower.

Yes, you can use too much BIG BUTT I've used as much as 12-15 inches of leaf mulch on hosta beds without ill effect, not that I recommend that much. The larger the particles size the more one can use.

Old wives tale; that mulch will change pH, not so.

Personal belief; mulch does not invite slugs. I've searched and can not find support that mulch attracts slugs. There are many reports in garden magazines and ag extension references yet none give research to support this position though.

There is no better protection against winter heave and the dreaded spring freeze/thaw cycle. :evil:

More here;
http://www.bloomingtononline.net/forum/ ... php?t=2633


Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:42 pm
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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:23 pm
Posts: 35
Post Re: Mulch is Your Friend
Wood mulch would harbor the PERFECT conditions for slugs in MN. Fallen trees, lumber or board harbors habitat for slugs here. It's a fact. That's why we use cocoa bean. Landscape fabric too! Honestly, we don't worry about Slugs at PutnamGardens...We worry about coyotes. We've seen him/her twice in the last two days. Once at 1:30 in the afternoon and today, after 4p. It's a big one. Now we can't let our dogs run. Funny how the focus of garden pest change from slugs to coyote. Sorry, didn't mean to hijack your post. It's all about ME...MY safety in my own yard. Those slugs are harmless compared to a coyote attack. My dogs are used to running the yard. NOT till we get it live trapped out of my hood. WE LIVE IN THE CITY. We can't use any slug pest bait either, cuz of the dogs. Maybe that's why our slugs report...My drinking team has a hosta problem. In gardens we have beer, that's why we drink it here......Later, Love, Lisa


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Have I mentioned lately that my drinking team has a hosta problem?


Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:08 am
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Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:18 am
Posts: 40
Post Re: Mulch is Your Friend
Quote:
Wood mulch would harbor the PERFECT conditions for slugs in MN. Fallen trees, lumber or board harbors habitat for slugs here. It's a fact.

True you will find them under leaves and lumber and boards but they will go somewhere if the board isn't there.

Slugs are easy to control with 10% ammonia, use a hose-end sprayer and fill the bottle with full strength household ammonia and let the sprayer mix the ammonia. Saturate the ground around the plants and let gravity find the slugs.

Quote:
We worry about coyotes.

I understand they are more dangerous for pets in towns/cities than out in open areas, and they love kitties. Actually a control for feral cats that are a problem for the bird populations causing an increase in bug pest.


Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:25 am
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Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:24 pm
Posts: 17
Post Re: Mulch is Your Friend
i believe any kind of mulch is better than no mulch at all.for us working people it allows us to have a bigger garden ,there is a lot less weeding,watering,and it protects the roots in harsher climates.and to top it of mulch will break down to add organig matter to the ground.what more can you ask for.


Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:03 pm
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Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:18 am
Posts: 40
Post Re: Mulch is Your Friend
Quote:
and to top it of mulch will break down to add organig matter to the ground.
Grizzly

This is very true and I'm about to add part of the why. The organic matter doesn't really matter without the soil organisms, a little chicken or the egg question. Feeding the soil with organic matter actually feeds the organisms that changes soil structure that allows plants to grow. Kind of over kill but clay+organic matter or sand+organic matter would not matter without the organisms.

Read more here;
http://www.bloomingtononline.net/forum/ ... php?t=2534

It is not necessary to understand any of the detail if you will just mulch the surface and let the natural process take care of the rest. It even has a name; "Sheet Composting"!


Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:38 am
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Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:42 pm
Posts: 13
Post Re: Mulch is Your Friend
MULCH!! Generally, I run around the Big City collecting bags and bags of leaves and spread them all over the garden. BUTT (or, as Butch would say, BIG BUTT) last fall, I collected leaves and the snow hit before I could spread most of them! This spring (we had a short spring in March) the mulch in the areas I did manage to cover is/was GONE! Gone already! It's like the leaves melted.

That left areas of bare ground. That meant the squirrels could dig for their nuts (black walnuts from neighbors' trees) so the garden is already raked over out there!!

SLUGS!! In Piqua, Ohio, at the end of Hosta College, I stopped at the Home Depot at the end of the street and bough --- FOR $1.99 each --- seven bags of SLUGGO, or whichever slug stuff it is. They are usually $10.00 each. Every year, on Good Friday, I throw handsfull of the pellets around ... very sparcely ... which handles the slugs very well. Mike Shadrack says that the slugs will diminish annually for three years and then they'll be virtually gone. I have a few hangers on out there, but a whole lot less than several years ago.

SO, what's the advise of this group? Do you remove the mulch in the garden or leave it? What role do slugs have in breaking down the mulch? How come I don't find slugs in the compost where the leaf stuff ends up?

Carolyn Schaffner in Buffalo, NY where I'm just about finished writing our HOSTA SHOW schedule for June 20,'09 where we'll be testing / pilot studying the AHS POINT SCALES for HOSTA BLOOMS!


Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:26 am
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Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:42 pm
Posts: 13
Post Re: Mulch is Your Friend
Yegads! The clock at this site says it's 11:28 am. The clock on my wall says it's 7:28. The CAR TALK guys, Click and Clack have a puzzler this week asking about the electricity being off but I don't think that applies here.

CMSchaffner in Buffalo, NY where we're covered in white mulch out there.


Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:31 am
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Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:18 am
Posts: 40
Post Re: Mulch is Your Friend
Quote:
How come I don't find slugs in the compost where the leaf stuff ends up?
Carolyn


Simple answer is; slugs don’t care for decaying leaves!

I researched the literature on slugs and most say that mulch harbors slugs but I could not find real research supporting that claim. So, I contacted a professor at the Ohio State University who studies mollusks. He reported that slugs do in fact hide in mulch during the heat of the day, BIG BUTT mulch does not draw slugs. Hosta draw slugs because they love them and will find somewhere to hide during the day and in fact travel great distances to find their food sources of choice and hosta is high on the list. One day I found a slug trail about 20ft across a gravel driveway that went directly, as if it could smell, to a potted hosta then up the side of the pot and I found it eating on a leaf, so much for clearing away an 8” circle around a hosta to prevent slugs.

Slugs are easy to control with molluscicides such as Sluggo and others or ammonia treatments. The simple method with ammonia is fill a hose-end sprayer with full strength household ammonia, allow the sprayer to mix, saturate a fairly large area around the plants during the day, allowing the water to find the slugs instead of the night time searches with a spray bottle in hand. That method whips everyone because it is so much work and is ineffective, it only kills the ones you can find and not the ones sliming across the driveway while you are turning over leaves with a flashlight.

The ammonia will not harm the plants or roots at the 10% recommended rate. Since clean beds do not prevent slugs why withhold the soil food value of mulch.

BTW, my choice of mulch is municipal compost because it is like a complete vitamin with all the minerals needed by the soil.


Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm
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Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 3:57 pm
Posts: 1
Post Re: Mulch is Your Friend
Butch Ragland wrote:
Quote:
How come I don't find slugs in the compost where the leaf stuff ends up?
Carolyn


Simple answer is; slugs don’t care for decaying leaves!

I researched the literature on slugs and most say that mulch harbors slugs but I could not find real research supporting that claim. So, I contacted a professor at the Ohio State University who studies mollusks. He reported that slugs do in fact hide in mulch during the heat of the day, BIG BUTT mulch does not draw slugs. Hosta draw slugs because they love them and will find somewhere to hide during the day and in fact travel great distances to find their food sources of choice and hosta is high on the list. One day I found a slug trail about 20ft across a gravel driveway that went directly, as if it could smell, to a potted hosta then up the side of the pot and I found it eating on a leaf, so much for clearing away an 8” circle around a hosta to prevent slugs.

Slugs are easy to control with molluscicides such as Sluggo and others or ammonia treatments. The simple method with ammonia is fill a hose-end sprayer with full strength household ammonia, allow the sprayer to mix, saturate a fairly large area around the plants during the day, allowing the water to find the slugs instead of the night time searches with a spray bottle in hand. That method whips everyone because it is so much work and is ineffective, it only kills the ones you can find and not the ones sliming across the driveway while you are turning over leaves with a flashlight.

The ammonia will not harm the plants or roots at the 10% recommended rate. Since clean beds do not prevent slugs why withhold the soil food value of mulch.

BTW, my choice of mulch is municipal compost because it is like a complete vitamin with all the minerals needed by the soil.



Thanks for your tips, ;)


Wed May 08, 2013 12:16 pm
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