another mulch question

borderokie(7)June 23, 2013

Someone on here told me they pull back their mulch every year and just leave what is beginning to break down. But since Iput cardboard down under it if it still looks good I was thinking of trying to plant in the same rows. Just rotate crops from row to row. Anyone tried leaving it and not plowing. Just replanting. Would save a lot of sore back muscles.

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slowpoke_gardener

Sheila, I do it all the time. I seldom use cardboard in the garden because I am still trying to till in organic matter. If the soil is still some what soft I just scratch a groove about 2 inches deep ( I have hoe I made from a cheap standard hoe that works very well for that) and plant as normal. I have better luck early in the year if I move the mulch back to let the soil dry and warm a little. I live in a low area and it is not uncommon for my soil in the north garden to be too wet in early spring.

I have been trying to go to a no till method for a couple of years, but have not got the kinks worked out yet.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 7:47AM
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elkwc(6b)

Sheila I pull it back also. Next year I plan to pull the mulch where I will plant tomatoes back also and let the soil warm like mentioned above. I do leave any that has composted or that is partially composted. Some of the reasons I do it is I can lightly work the composted along with any supplements into the top 2-3 inches. Another is if I don't pull it back away from the row a few inches on each side the wind will blow the row back shut before the seeds germinate. I rotate also but don't use the exact rows. I use different row spacings for different crops so I make new rows every year. I don't use cardboard either. Considering it in walking paths, ect. I haven't tilled much this year. In fact last week was the first time I used the tilled in the main garden. It was in an area where I had walked some and needed tilled a little. I didn't till real deep. I will till maybe 3 more rows. My anteater Troy Bilt is 12" wide. I make one trip. I don't till the whole garden. Like Slowpoke mentioned I'm trying to do no till but if I do I will have to change my management practices some more. Jay

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 8:24AM
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wulfletons(Zone 7a)

Sheila, I would agree that as long as you give you soil time to warm up, pulling the mulch back should be fine.
We used cardboard our first year at this house to smother weeds and Bermuda and every time we went out to the garden, we found at least one and usually several snakes under the cardboard, so that would be my only concern about leaving the cardboard. I totally understand that non venomous snakes are good in the garden, but that doesn't keep me from having a mini panic attack every time I see one.
I would LOVE to put cardboard on the garden pathways, but for now at least I dislike snakes more than I dislike Bermuda.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 9:14AM
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wulfletons(Zone 7a)

Sheila, I would agree that as long as you give you soil time to warm up, pulling the mulch back should be fine.
We used cardboard our first year at this house to smother weeds and Bermuda and every time we went out to the garden, we found at least one and usually several snakes under the cardboard, so that would be my only concern about leaving the cardboard. I totally understand that non venomous snakes are good in the garden, but that doesn't keep me from having a mini panic attack every time I see one.
I would LOVE to put cardboard on the garden pathways, but for now at least I dislike snakes more than I dislike Bermuda.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 9:24AM
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