Monday, November 25, 2013

Results of the Mulch Experiment

Time for a little update!

As I promised this summer, I withheld doing an analysis on my new garden mulching strategy until the season was over.  Well, the season is most definitely over, and the results are in!

As you may remember, I elected to start mulching my garden paths with grass clippings in order to minimize my weeding time.  This became necessary because Mr. FC&G was on a five-week business trip out of the country, leaving me to do all of the outdoor work instead of just maintaining my garden.  (And you know that I'm too cheap to hire a lawn service!)  I spent every day he was gone doing outside work (mowing, weeding, hauling wood, etc.) along with my indoor jobs and my actual paying work, so any efficiencies were appreciated!

I was initially afraid the mulch would compress the soil and make a mat of un-decomposed grass, but that didn't happen.  The grass decomposed at a slow but steady rate, and it certainly kept the weeds down!  I'd say I had about an 80 percent reduction in amount of weeding I had to take care of.

Overall, I'll try this again next year.  I will be lightening the soil a bit because I believe it has gotten too clay-y, a hazard in this part of the Midwest.  However, I don't think the mulch made that problem any worse, and it did make a ready source of compost that will finish decomposing and enriching the soil over winter.  Certainly, I will be sure to spread some humus, or finished compost, around as well.  I expect next year to be better than ever.

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