Ok. So what's *one* more thread in the forum, eh?
I battle a hot sun and lots of weeds in my garden each year. Just can't keep up with them, it seems. And, I ain't getting any younger (regardless of what I tell my beautiful bride!). But mulching has been an issue for me.
I've had problems finding good mulching material. Leaves are great, but ya gotta get them when there available and either store them or put them on the garden....and I usually till them in for the organic matter. About the only other thing around here in abundance is pine straw and debris from logging operations which can be labor intensive. I'd love to have some wheat (I think) but it is a foreign thing around here usually, though on rare occasions I've see it...been a few years, though.
The other stuff that you can find all along is shredded and chipped material from ROW crews clearing brush and limbs from the ROW (Right-of-way) of highways and electricity power lines. I've thought about this many times being as there are usually some crews in the area at one time or another through the year. My concern with this has been the possibility of getting material that is tainted with pesticides. With the way things go for me I'd probably end up putting a truck load of paraquat or something on my garden.
So, I've never really pursued that idea.
BUT (there's always a "but" somewhere, eh?....no comments on that, please
).... But, today I stumbled upon a pile of wood cihps....ROW debris. I had went to check on a field road as I thought I heard a motor running down there and I've had a slight problem with younguns deciding it was a good road to tear up when it was wet.
Well, someone had been in there prior to that last rain but I think it was the got working the hay fields...but nobody today. As I was turning around I spotted something at the edge of the ROW. Nah, couldn't be...
But, it was. A big pile of wood chips on the edge of our property.
Naturally the rusty wheels in my brain start working. There's enough there that with a lot of work would cover all the paths in my garden and the perimeter.
(Weren't some of us just talking about big piles of stuff and moving it with a wheelbarrow?
And, of course, it's 135F in the shade now with 125% humidity...perfect weather for shoveling trailer after trailer loads of this stuff!!!!!
I got keep in mind how to eat an elephant.
BUT....(there's another one!) But, in the back of my mind I'm thinking about the spraying that they do along the right-of-ways. Smelling of the chips it smelled mostly of pine...which makes sense. There were several dead pines on our property line at the ROW that they cut down and removed....I figured they thought it was only fitting to dump the chips where they did. So, I doubt the chips were sprayed while standing. The other possible problem could be from the big tank truck that menacingly drives up and down the highway slowly spraying a band of pesticide probably 15' wide beside the highway. Unless they *really* pumped it out there this pile of chips *should* be out of range of the tanker-spray-truck.
Should I go for it, do you think? The operation that does this is primarily rigged up for larger trees so I think it's mostly chips, though there could be some shredded stuff at the bottom. I did see a little larger stuff on the far size but for some reason didn't check it out good. I'll go back and look closer tomorrow.
Now, if I do decide to put the labor into retrieving this pile I'm thinking of, as I said earlier, lining my paths and basically going to a semi no-till garden...leaving the paths basically intact from season to season and only working the wide rows. As the mulch decomposes I'll drag some onto the rows and (hopefully) replenish the paths with some fresh chips. It's all a grande plan, but before I do it...should I?
Below are a few shots of the pile of chips. My old cap is laying on top of the pile and that knife is four inches long.
So, what do ya'll think?
Thanks for *any* feedback, I need it!!!!