Saturday, February 7, 2015

Standing Mulch

One of my friends is fond of describing my grass and weeds as being "standing mulch". Once mowed, it's mulch, but while it is still growing and green, it's standing mulch. I take advantage of standing mulch whenever I can. Other people seem to be quick to chop things down and haul the debris off to the dump. I'm more apt to utilize that debris. Let me show you an example. 

A couple of weeks ago I harvested a patch of taro that was ready. This gave me a number of "starts" for replanting. Since I had quite a few starts, I decided to create another bed. So I planted these taro starts and lightly mulched them with forest litter, then watered them well.  After 2-3 weeks the plants were growing new leaves and looking pretty good. Time for more mulching. 
Some small weeds were popping up, so first I removed them, adding then to the mulch layer. Now I needed mulch material. I could have created grass clippings, or I could have raked up some forest debris. But growing right next to this taro patch was some weedy brush that I wanted to get out of there so that I could expand this taro bed. 
So the simplest thing to do was chop that greenery up and use it as the mulching material. Those bushes and weeds are standing mulch for this taro bed. 
Using a handheld pruning shears, I grabbed handfuls of greenery and cut it. I could have used a machete but I don't trust myself with one anywhere near a tree. Wild women with a big knife! Eek!  I  just laid the chopped greenery around the bases of the taro plants. I'll let it dry out over the next 3 days then do another layer. Then next week, another light layer. Quick and simple. As the taro needs more mulch, I'll just hack more of the brush down. This creates easily accessible mulch plus removes brush so that I can make a larger garden. Super! 

1 comment:

  1. You and I both find ways to put those pruners through all kine stuff - roots, vines, even wire stubs in fences, nails (There's a notch for those on my Felcos). If I paid closer attention to the pros as they sharpen their big knives, I'm sure I'd be even more efficient at hacking back the nearly impenetrable blackberry "trees" here. I have safety glasses or goggles on, long-sleeve heavy-coated gloves with a pair of Harbor Freight vinyl gloves inside and HF leather-palm work gloves on top - but some thorns still get me at times. Felcos to the battle!