Devine Chatter — mulch RSS

Are Jumping Worms Hiding in Your Mulch?

Mulch could be one of the major ways that jumping worms are being spread. If you buy mulch in the spring, remember that you won’t know if it has jumping worms until later that summer as they develop from cocoons to adult worms. Consider covering your mulch pile with clear plastic to solarize and kill the worms and their cocoons at temperatures above 104 degrees for at least 3 days. Timothy McCay, a professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at Colgate University, recently spoke to the Hamilton Garden club about jumping worms. We are used to seeing earthworms from Europe. Jumping worms are from Asia and are causing problems because they rapidly eat their way through organic matter. In the forest, they...

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Types of Mulches

Mulching is covering the soil with a thin layer of material to block weeds, retain moisture, increase nutrients and microbes in the soil and/or for appearance sake. There are different reasons to use mulch and different types of mulches. Ground bark mulches are good spread around trees and shrubs. Ground bark mulches will suck nutrients away from plants so I don't recommend using them near flowers and vegetables. Mature stable compost is better around flowers and vegetables because it will add nutrients to the soil not take away.  Shredded leaves from the year before are great to use as a mulch. Unshredded leaves may become matted and repel water.  Straw can be used but I find it to be expensive. Hay...

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