Hot summer in Pacific NW, climate change?

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by janetdoyle, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Victoria [Saanich, actually, northeast of Victoria
    I use mulch but I think since I have only been gardening here since 2006 that it has not had a chance to be really incorporated into the soil, the old mulch I mean. In one area where someone had been doing good gardening, yes it is soft and tilthy and grows wonderful small conifers very nicely. Mulch is over every other area of my garden, except for one section with small groundcovers I am trying and I am afraid to cover them up too much so only mulch lightly there. I guess too lightly. I will try to just let them come up through the mulch. I think, though, that this townhouse complex was built [in the 1980's] with a lot of coarse rocky fill tucked in here and there and then other bits are this gritty almost mountain-type soil interspersed with patches of clay. There are areas in my front garden that are mulch on top of the unsatisfactory soil, but I guess if I dig in the mulch now and then and put on fresh, ultimately it will improve. Sometimes after watering on a really hot day like lately, I find it is still dry underneath after all that watering and the mulch is moist on top.
     
  2. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Victoria Australia [cool temperate]
    Re the water in soil problem use mulch big time and it works. That is how my patch survives and hold water to plants over extended dry period. |NO watering allowed.

    I have access to wood shavings a bit harsh but i add some manures with it and it really makes great soil. Been doing it for many years now. Straw and even newspaper / cardboard with out too much coloured inks can work. Autumn leaves from neighbours that don't want them [been there done that]. We use fine graves for our native plantings here. I am seeing more and more council controlled areas being done with native grasses and other suitable plants then a layer of fine coloured gravel just like the native bush. Looks really great. Is there a local form of mulch that is plentiful? even river stones can work but I would make the soil well fed first.

    Liz
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  4. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    This was helpful, Ron... I liked the idea of the "mulch sandwich" i.e. using a high-nutrient mulch just on top of the soil then putting the wood chip mulch on top of that -- to retain the soil nitrogen I guess. Well, I do persevere with it and perhaps in a few years the difficult areas will loosen up soil-wise. It's not TOO bad, I have added compost into planting holes, etc., before mulching, so the main plants have had the soil pre-prepared for them. Not having dug up and re-supplied the whole garden beds with new soil, compost, etc., this was the easiest thing to do...
     

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