More Mulch Madness

More Mulch Madness

My readers will remember last year’s posts on wood chips mulch. I called a local tree service and asked for a truck load of wood chips fresh from the chipper. And this is what I got:

It's about 5' high, 10'across. That means probably about 10 cubic yards.
It’s about 5′ high, 10’across. That means probably about 10 cubic yards.

It’s now 16 months later, and my pathways have composted down to almost nothing, and all the garden beds need a new layer as well. So since last year I had way more than I needed, my neighbour, and friends of theirs, thought we could split a load amongst us all.

This is what came last Friday:

Dang close to 20 cubic yards!
Dang close to 20 cubic yards!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Easily double the size of last year’s mountain.

So besides re-doing all the pathways, adding 3-4″ in all planting beds (over top of foliage that will be soon be turning to mush anyway), I decided it was time to convert most of my back yard from lawn (ie, buttercup lawn) to… something else.

Mulch Madness!
Mulch Madness!

I used Doug-fir cones to mark out the curved edge of the new planting bed/ something else space. Then once I’d wheel-barrowed as much as I could fit, I cut out a 4″ edge of turf and moved bricks from their original location to their new location.

I didn't do such a great job of making a nice smooth semi-circle.
I didn’t do such a great job of making a nice smooth semi-circle. I may yet fix that…
This side is a bit better.
This side is a bit better.

So I’m pretty excited to actually have a chance to “design” something in my back yard. As you’ll have noticed (and I’m sure I’ve said as much) my garden isn’t designed, it’s just a research lab for plants and projects. Now I think I’ll be more intentional about what I do in this new space. Stay tuned… Mind you, you’ll have to be patient while you “stay tuned”, since it will be most of a year before I can actually use this converted area. I left the turf in place (previously I’d dug it up from pathway areas and and turned it over elsewhere, then covered it with wood chips), so there’s a lot of composting yet to happen. Once it’s all raked over, the mulch will be 6-8″ deep.

But there are LOTS of wonderful beneficial bacteria and fungi in my mountain of mulch. Can you see the steam rising off this pile?

Very warm pile of wood chips already beginning the composting process.
Very warm pile of wood chips already beginning the composting process.

Questions? Comments. All welcome.

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