Daylilies forum: Mulching question for perennial beds

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Aug 9, 2013 2:07 PM CST
Ok, got a question about mulching. I'm in ny, and was wondering what types of mulch you use? I have access to everything. I usually use the nice shredded dark mulch around landscaping. Right now I'm using mini bark nuggets which look great, but expensive.

Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
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Aug 9, 2013 2:23 PM CST
I don't mulch since my planting medium is basically nothing but pine bark. However, when I did have a "look at me" garden I preferred the dime size pine bark over the regular mulch. I went and got a few truckloads of the regular mulch and when I was digging or replanting the beds it was very hard to dig through. I believe it was cypress mulch. It looked nice to begin with but after it was faded by the sun it was pretty ugly. And at least the pine bark breaks down faster and acts as a soil amendment.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Aug 9, 2013 2:26 PM CST
Welcome! Welcome to the Daylily Forum. Welcome!

Those hardwood or pine bark nuggets are nice mulches but too expensive if you have an extensive garden. I like to use leaves that I get in the fall. People put them out bagged and I go and pick them up and spread them in my garden beds.

Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
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Aug 9, 2013 5:08 PM CST


Welcome! Hockeyrabbit

We collect our leaves with the lawn tractor/bagger and then shred them into a pile with a big antique leaf shredder where they sit over winter. In the spring I mix leaves to composted horse manure about 2 to one. After weeding a bed I spread alfalfa pellets and milorganite then top dress the beds with an inch to 2 inches of the leaf/compost mix. The top dress gets worked in by the worms and by the next spring the beds are ready for more. This process, along with adding straight horse compost when redoing a bed, has helped to turn my mostly clay soil into soil I can wiggle my fingers down into, it's been about 9 -10 years.
We used a large amount of rough ground bark one year to keep the horses out of the mud by the feeder. Several years later (and a downsize from 5 to only 1 horse) we moved the paddock fence so I could use a section for more seedlings ( Rolling my eyes. ). The bark still hadn't broken down completely and was terrible to plant those seedlings in, much grumbling as I bloodied my fingers planting. After 3 years those seedlings are in the toss rotation this year and I am hoping I do not find any bark left as I dig them out!
So Cal (Zone 10b)
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Aug 9, 2013 6:33 PM CST
Although I live in a very different climate, I use a system similar to Char's. In early spring, we put down, on average, 6"-8" of a composted horse manure/ shavings mixture (the grape area gets 12") followed by 3-4" of shredded tree limbs and leaves. Because of the earthworms and bio-active soil, this layer only lasts about 2 - 2.5 months before bare soil starts peeking through so we add an additional 4"-6" of the manure/shavings mix followed by a few more inches of shredded tree clippings every couple of months. Our last mulch layer is typically applied in November when the soil starts to cool down for the winter. Although we started out with heavy, adobe clay, we now have rich loam teeming with earth worms.

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[Last edited by OldGardener - Aug 9, 2013 6:34 PM (+)]
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Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
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Aug 9, 2013 6:54 PM CST
I am like Rita....I use leaves in the fall and this summer I started putting dried grass cuttings too.
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