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Jill, great article as always! This one is very timely for those of us here in my part of Florida, as it looks like Fall is finally arriving in our neck of the woods. Yesterday I noticed the Maple and Hickory leaves starting to change color so it shouldn't be long now before I have some good leaf mulch!
Thanks so much for the links to the articles by Jeremy and Toni as well. I don't make coffee very often but when I do, I usually forget to save that black gold for the garden! My elderly neighbor sprinkles coffee grounds around her plants and whenever I see her walking around her backyard with the coffeepot basket in hand, it makes me smile. Hopefully that article will be a great reminder for me, and I might just have to stop by the local Starbucks to see about acquiring some free coffee grounds! ^_^
I've printed out this article of yours, as well as Jeremy's and Toni's to hopefully get my husband to read them! Even after 40 years of marriage we still seem to differ on issues pertaining to gardening and mulch. To him, it's just a chore that must get done. When he mows the lawn he always bags the grass clippings as well as the leaves to put out for the trash, whereas I always use them for mulch. I can't seem to convince him that he is throwing away good stuff and I can't count the times I've hauled bags of grass clippings from the curb to the garden. I guess it's good that I do most of the mowing ... speaking of which, I better go out and get it done. Thanks again for another great article!
Hi, I enjoy your information. Over the years we have learned alot about mulching do's and don'ts. Living in North Central Florida we can get some pretty bad dry spells during the summer, so you better know about mulching the plants or you will
end up losing them. Our property has stands of pine trees and we rake up the pine needles for mulch material around the yard plants and shrubs. It has helped alot so far in keeping the soil moist. For the shrubs around the house we have found out it's better to use the lava rock instead of wood mulch because it doesn't attract termites. The lava rock has also helped to keep the soil from drying out and it looks real nice. We compost leaves, grass clippings, and some horse manure finding that it breaks down pretty well in a year and again can used that around any evergreen shrubs. I am currently working on a method of shredding up my pine needles to get them into smaller pieces, but the only thing I have available right now is my leaf blower which has a mulching attachment.
Mulch -- any kind of mulch -- sure makes a huge difference, especially during dry summers like we had last year. My in-laws use the pine needles as they are (they call it "pine straw," and it comes in bales for landscape use), but I can see wanting a finer texture with it.