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21

No, in your lifetime, normal amounts of pine needles will not measurably acidify your soil. They are somewhat acidic, and acidify soil over long periods of time, unless the soil base is extremely alkaline. They don't acidify soil more than other deciduous tree leaves, and oak leaves in particular (they have a pH of 4.5 to 4.7). Rain does leach the acid out, ...


14

What's done is done, but in future years, as others suggest, collect up the leaves and compost them separately, either in a contained heap or in binliner bags with holes in the bottom. Leaves should be wet, crammed in a binliner, the tops tied shut, holes poked in the bottom, then left in a corner somewhere to rot down over a year or so, by which time they ...


13

Definitively a mushroom, a cup fungus of the pezizaceae family. (Precise identification is difficult over the internet.) What you see are the fruiting bodies - not unlike the apples on a tree. The fungus itself lives in the mulch / soil and is saprobiontic, which means it digests the wood chips of your mulch. This is perfectly normal and part of the ...


12

Sawdust for Composting First I would make sure the wood has not been chemically treated. Check a cross section of the wood for the distinctive ring of green color around the first half inch or so. If it has been chemically treated, it will contain chemicals like arsenic, chromium, and copper — not suitable for composting. Make sure sawdust (and ...


12

If you have enough, try using them for mulch on a pathway. They last a long time, are a durable mulch, and make a lovely sound. In the Northwest US you can actually purchase bags of hazelnut shells to use on your pathways.


10

I can't be certain with the picture quality but based on their location in the wood chips and their appearance I'm going to say you have termites. Certainly get rid of them and/or call a bug inspector to verify.


9

It really matters what kind of wood chips you're trying to use. The wrong sort can doom your gardening project. Wood Chips, Sawdust and Bark Chips Wood chips and sawdust from large diameter limbs, trunks and Evergreen trees kind of suck the nitrogen out of any environment they're used in. Their Carbon/Nitrogen ratio can run from 400:1 to 750:1. It has to ...


9

I planted some Oxalis deppei in the garden at my university last year and it looked just like your plant. It had little dark pink flowers and spread like crazy, from 15 bulbs planted in spring I got at least 50 bulbs in autumn, including smaller ones. This was on a rocky small area that somewhat contained them.


8

The mushrooms will not harm the trees. They are decomposing the mulch, and have no interest in a live tree. If you want to, you can remove the caps and stalks, as these are just reproductive organs and do not have anything to do with the fungus health. A layer of mulch like that, while decomposing, will take up a large amount of nitrogen from the soil, so ...


8

Not sure where you're from but in the USA you can send a soil sample to your local university extension office and for a nominal fee they will give you a report on the soil that you can use to improve it for your intended purpose. Two key things to look for is the existing organic matter content and cation exchange capacity. This is always a good thing to do ...


8

Rubber mulch is a better insulator which may be important in very hot or very cold climates. It also doesn't absorb or retain water which helps keep it weed free since weed seeds won't germinate in it like they can in some other types of mulches. It will last a long time. Different agencies and labs have tested the use of rubber mulch in playgrounds and ...


8

Definitely not plastic - landscape fabric needs to be water/air permeable. The reason fabric's used is to reduce or stop weed germination, particularly when stones are laid over the top. Even that's not a permanent fix though - over time, particles of soil gather in the stones and eventually weed germination can take place in that top layer of stones. If ...


8

The highest nitrogen fertilizer you can easily find, and water to keep it damp/humid, but not so much as to wash the fertilizer out of it. If you have sufficient privacy, or a dog, urine will also help. Of course, it does not become "dirt" it becomes humus. If you want dirt you'll need some sand and clay as well. If you need fill dirt, buy fill dirt, or ...


8

You cannot use plastic - it will waterlog after rain. Weed fabric allows water and air through, whereas plastic does not. You can buy heavier duty weed fabric, so you might consider that, but most weeds do not punch through the fabric from the soil beneath, only things like japanese knotweed or bamboo usually. However, weeds can and do root into the mulch on ...


8

Yes you can use them for composting, with good composting conditions (greens, browns, temperature, and moisture) they should be no problem for the micro-organisms responsible for composting. However, some people advice not to put seeds in your compost. This is because of the obvious reason that the seeds can germinate when using the final compost for other ...


7

I do it every year and always have great vegetable gardens. If the forest does not die from leaves your garden will not. I just till then in several times over the fall and winter then have a great garden in the spring. They will build your garden soil. I collected probably 500 bags this past year (fall 2014) and will do the same this year. They are great ...


7

Leaves that have been chopped (and I am assuming this is what your mower did) can add motility but not necessarily additional fertility to garden soil. This is a good thing depending upon your soil type: humus to make the soil drain better, be a bit looser rather than compacted is good. It was long believed that leaves would raise the pH to the acid side, ...


7

I have used it as a mulch for the path ways. A thick layer does a good job of keeping out grass and weeds, if they do grow they are easily pulled off the top of the sawdust. If used on pathways you don't have to worry about it taking nitrogen from your plants.


7

To Bamboo's post, I'd just add that if the tree is planted in a lawn, mulching around the tree has two additional benefits. First the tree and the grass are not competing for nutrients. Second, you do not need to mow over the exposed roots of the tree, so there is less of a chance of damaging the tree with your mower.


7

For ornamental use In my area, the most common mulch for landscaped ornamental beds is premium shredded bark mulch (my source) It's very nice to work with, is partially decomposed (usually very hot when I get it), decomposes in about a year (when I reapply), and adds to the organic matter content of the soil. The earthworms appear to love it, and will go ...


7

This is a member of the Nidulariaceae / birds nest fungi, the exact variety would need better photos and possibly a microscope, but I can still answer your other questions: No, they are not dangerous. Inedible, but they don't damage your garden. They do what they do best, which is eating the decomposing wood from your mulch. The white "felted" disc ...


7

I'm not sure what the best way to remove them is but depending on the type of wood chips they could be good to mix with other green material to turn into compost for the flower beds. Using coffee grounds, grass clippings, and other plant material should give you usable compost by next spring. There's a few videos on YouTube showing how to do this.


7

I'll confirm that the identification of Peziza fungus is accurate in Stephie's answer, and it is a saphrophytic fungus, meaning it merely digests dead material, link below (if you scroll down) shows one or two which are more like yours to look at. These are commonly known as cup fungi. Now that it's present, even if you replace your bark chips with new, it's ...


7

Even with a no dig method, it's still necessary to disturb the soil a little if you want to clear or plant, especially vegetable crops. Remove the plants you no longer need, uprooting them - it doesn't matter if a little mulch gets mixed in with the soil, shake off what soil you can from the roots you've pulled back over the hole. You will have to disturb it ...


7

I am zone USDA zone 3 b to 4 and you can't kill blackberry plants. I have mine growing with morning sun in a raised bed beside a concrete foundation. Every year, dead to the ground, every year eight to nine feet tall in the autumn. Don't bother with any extra work, cut them back to the ground in the fall and stand back in the spring. I do top dress with ...


7

Or you can use empty hazelnut shells for cheese smoking. It is well known that hazelnut shells are one of the best smoke sources for that purpose. Many famous cheeses have their "smoked" versions, like: Gouda Provolone Scamorza Cheddar ...and they are as a rule even more appreciated than their basic version. Many delicious dishes can be made using ...


7

Hazelnut and many other tree nut shells are packed with BTUs. If you have a wood stove, try tossing them in. See the following web page for examples: https://www.harvesttimeshells.com/half_shell.html It notes that hazelnut shells can be used for mulch, with the following qualities: Holds moisture, keeping potted plants & flowerbeds moist Keeps ...


6

Mushrooms like feeding on decomposing organic material under the surface of the ground that rarely gets disturbed, or above the ground in large pieces that are constantly internally moist. They like rich soil in shady locations. Of course this is your average mushroom. There are kinds that use different growing environments. But the point is that in a ...


6

MDMoore, There's too much info I want to share to post as a comment so I'm starting another answer. I'm also going to link to some sections of my blog for further reading when you have some time. I've been in your shoes before. There's no easy fix. Some of the things you're saying, questions you're asking remind me of me when I first got started. People ...


6

Bad grass is usually an indication of poor soil. Find your local university cooperative extension office and send them samples to find out what your soil needs. In addition to whatever lime (to change pH) and fertilizer that is recommended you will probably want to add some compost to increase the organic matter of the soil. May need to scrape out some of ...


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