Irene Virag's Garden Party

I'm Irene Virag -- a writer, a gardener, a cancer survivor. I think ideas are like plants. They need nurturing to grow. And gardeners share both. So welcome to my blog. It’s all about what’s happening in my garden and beyond.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What's Bigger Than A Honda CRX?

Answer: A mountain of mulch.

When 20 yards of gorgeous shredded bark mulch was dumped on my driveway awhile back, it all but swallowed my little 19-year-old CRX.

I love the look and smell and feel of new mulch. Of course, all this stuff is now where it should be -- in the beds and borders of my yard. When I was out weeding the other day, it reminded me of why mulch is the elixir of the garden.

Actually, there weren't that many weeds to pull -- mulch smothers what I think of as the dust bunnies of the garden. And when I grabbed a little locust seedling that was hiding among the dahlias, it's taproot gave with hardly a tug. Usually, I need a trowel to dig the pesky invaders out.

Mulch also helps your soil retain moisture so you don't have to wage a daily battle with hoses. And it cools the earth in summer. Which brings me to one of my biggest pet peeves -- over-zealous gardeners and especially landscapers who mulch in May. The plants are barely in the ground and they're up to their necks shivering in shredded bark or cocoa hulls. You want to let the soil warm up before you mulch. I'll remind you about it next spring.

My central air conditioning died just as the days of crushing heat arrived. I'll still waiting for the new system to be installed. I'm wilting. But my flowers and vegetables aren't. Maybe I should go sit in the mulch.



Blogger Gaia said...

I had a pile like that once upon a time.

Apparently the local tree care companies here won't deliver chipped trees (I think it has to do with the huge amount of oleander it could contain).

Too bad because in this clime, we can use all the mulch we can get.

8/18/2007 12:06 AM  

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