Removal of Lava Rock Mulch: Fantastic idea!

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Removal of Lava Rock Mulch

By Jeyra
March 10, 2015

The home we purchased six years ago came with extensive landscaping, complete with lava rock mulch. We wanted to replace the lava rock mulch with something more biodegradable that would break down and add nutrients to the soil as it decomposed over time. However, the thought of digging out all the lava rocks that had become deeply embedded into the soil over the years seemed a formidable task.

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Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level
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evermorelawnless
Mar 9, 2015 6:28 PM CST
I used to be an archaeologist in another life and this sounds much like one of the tools that we used on digs.

Here's a screen (ugh, phone photo) that I put in a frame (with handles on either side) that we used to sift out rocks and other junk when we were amending the soil in one garden. Note the handles on it for shaking. On some of the more complicated models, people attach legs to the frame to make the sifting easier.

Thumb of 2015-03-10/evermorelawnless/8f5f0f

The foamboard "wings" that you see on this particular frame were a late addition... I screwed them on and turned the screen to vertical and placed it in front of the chipper/shredder output (well, almost in front - I welded up a little directional box to control the flow).

I'm really digressing. Point is that it's a really neat idea to use hardware cloth for the purpose you describe. I like the idea a lot.



I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Mar 9, 2015 6:40 PM CST
I laid hardware cloth or chicken wire over some big, steel-wire shelves that I brought home form the dumpster at work.

Thumb of 2015-03-10/RickCorey/06fe74 Thumb of 2015-03-10/RickCorey/7768bb Thumb of 2015-03-10/RickCorey/a8ad0f

That gave the screens enough support that I could bash clods with the flat of a shovel, and rub back and forth with the back of a steel rake, pressing down.

I wonder if you could crush the bigger chunks of lava rock to produce porous, water-retaining grit, smaller than 1/8". That would be a desirable amendment for many kinds of heavy soil. If you could crush it even finer, it would be like a "porous sand" soil amendment.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
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Bubbles
Mar 9, 2015 8:04 PM CST
I hope you saved some lava rock in case you may want to grow potted plumerias, or maybe anthuriums. Lava rock "rocks" as mulch on these plants!
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Mar 10, 2015 3:55 AM CST
I agree it is nice and porous. I think I might just have dug it through the soil rather than removing it. But your system looks great! Thumbs up
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Region: California Plant Database Moderator Roses Irises Clematis Garden Photography
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Calif_Sue
Mar 10, 2015 4:20 PM CST

Plants Admin

Wonderful article, well written! I am impressed, especially for a young person to be able to articulate your meaning so well! Too many kids nowadays can't write a proper grammatically correct sentence. (I fail myself many times Hilarious! )
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Name: Jeyra
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Dog Lover Garden Procrastinator Bluebonnets Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jeyra
Mar 10, 2015 6:29 PM CST
Thank you so much for the helpful tips and comments. I really appreciate the encouragement. My Mom is responsible for teaching me correct grammar. Smiling She's a wonderful teacher.
-The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem. -Jack Sparrow
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Mar 10, 2015 7:25 PM CST
Too many PEOPLE don't know how to make a grammatical sentence!

I was shocked when I went on the road for one company, installing our equipment in packaging plants. Highly placed managers, responsible for hundreds of jobs and probably millions of dollars, often have trouble with Junior High School English.

I understand not being able to learn to spell - I rely on spell-check a lot - but I thought that people learned grammar by listening to other people, radio and TV.

Oh, well. Maybe in this century we can only learn CORRECT grammar by reading.

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