Sunday, May 12, 2013

Self-mulch in place

Aloe maculata and
Festuca glauca
Today I went up to PG intending to weed the back half of the middle front bed, and ended up doing so much more in the course of 4 hours.

First I wanted to empty our compost pail so opened the two left bins, overstuffed with weeds last week. They'd both melted down a bit, so I decided to turn some of bin 2 over into bin 1, and water it. As I was pitchforking the contents over I noticed puffs of white - steam! I felt around and the pile was indeed very hot and composting away with abandon. Bacteria and worms FTW.

We've had slow results on the compost because we usually only turn it once a month, and in the past haven't had the correct ratio of green to brown contents. Recently I bought a bale of rice straw to add, and last volunteer day we turned the bins, added straw and watered them. Result!

Cordyline mulch
Then I got to work in the middle back bed - our dampest spot, and place where weeds have great fun. Noticed the Salvia "Limelight" I'd transplanted there recently was looking better than expected, the Leonotis worse than ever (it hates damp and wants to move) and the tallest Cordyline about to drop it's skirt-full of lower leaves.

As I weeded away an idea struck me. I'd recently been too lazy to move cut off cardoon leaves to the compost bins and instead arranged them at the base of the plant as mulch. No weeds there! Since Cordyline leaves are too fibrous to compost well, it hit me they might make great mulch too. So I yanked off all the lower leaves from the Cordyline and put them over the freshly weeded dirt. It doesn't look as nice as wood chips, but it should work, and will be covered by the plants there soon.

Cardoon mulch
Matt showed up and got to work cutting back the Salvia leucantha in the left bed, and weeded away too. I pulled weeds from the front of the middle back bed, and opened up the path on both sides.

After 4 tubtrugs hit the second compost bin, we decided to excavate the remains of the third bin. Great compost in there! We took two tubtrugs out and spread them on the garden - black and crumbly and lovely - and put the rest on the top of the now-full bin 2. We threw some water on top of bins 1 and 2, locked up and called it a day.

Walking down to PRG we picked trash as we went. Everything's looking lovely.


1 comment:

  1. Wow you both got a lot done on Sunday! Wish I could have been two places at once.

    ReplyDelete

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