Hot answers tagged

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, ...


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

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.


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

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

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

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

A good layer of mulch should still be apparent after one year of laying. If the mulch is gone after one year, you'll need to add more next time. Being a busy landscaper myself, I don't have time to get everyone covered in spring, and pretty much mulch whenever it's not freezing out. I find that the mulch generally lasts about the same, no matter when you ...


6

I have never heard of anyone recommending a layer of plastic with something over the top, gravel or anything else. Plastic will stop water permeating the ground, and any gravel on the top would be floating! A layer of permeable membrane (geotextile fabric) with an ornamental mulch (pebbles, gravel, limestone chippings, slate, pea shingle) keeps weeds down, ...


6

Mulch is a term used to describe any layer of material on the top of soil. This can include leaf litter (naturally occurring in woodlands, for instance), stone, slate, chippings, paper, coca shell, bark chips, garden compost, soil conditioning compost and well rotted manures. The main benefit of any substance placed on top of the ground is moisture ...


6

Mulch should FEED the soil! Un-decomposed organic matter, rock, plastic, rubber...do nothing for your soil. Your plants NEED a live, thriving, communal soil or they won't thrive. Healthy soils have micro and macro organisms (the more the better) that need to be fed. These critters eat decomposed organic material on the soil and digest it then poop it out ...


6

If you really want the Victorian look use stone dust with fines. This is crushed limestone gravel with the dust and is usually inexpensive. excavate your path two to three inches deep or lay the stone dust directly on the earth wet down with a hose compact with a rented compactor. I also find small children can be very effective compactors when they run up ...


6

There shouldn't be any drawbacks, provided it was turned into compost using a hot, aerobic system. Many yard trimmings contain pathogens - fungal infections, insect infestations, so it needs to be processed in such a manner to ensure those things aren't still in the compost when you get and use it. The small twigs are often a component in compost you produce ...


6

Yes, absolutely. You do not need anything from the store, and you can use your home made compost as a mulch without adding anything on top. If your compost has been produced using a hot aerobic system rather than cold and anaerobic, there's no more risk of weed growth from that than there is from ordinary soil. Even if the method you used was cold and ...


6

In general, no mulch should be piled up against a woody trunk or woody stem. If you're using straw for insulation purposes because winter is coming, just leave a little clear space, an inch or two all round, the trunk, but if you're covering up herbaceous perennial plants which disappear below ground in winter, you don't need to worry, you can just heap it ...


6

Yes you can. I've had to do that numerous times in order to help suppress weeds until I can get the shrubs in. I would, however, recommend against it. It can be pretty annoying to have to move all the mulch around again. If you are only planting a few shrubs, then it's no big deal, but if you have a lot of planting to do, wait until the end to mulch. ...


6

Assuming that all four trees you mention really are Quercus varieties, oak leaves make the best leafmould - they break down faster and make quality leaf mould. The way to produce leafmould is to put the leaves in black plastic sacks, poke a couple of holes in the bottom, if the leaves are already wet, fine, if not, add some water, tie the tops shut and stack ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible