Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mushroom compost as a mulch

One thing on my list when we went into the city this weekend was to get some mulch.  The garden bed outside the bedroom window has been sprouting weeds like crazy since I dug up the sweet potatoes and started planting flowers there. 

 My idea was if I mulched it that would stop the weeds growing.   Of course the first place I always stop is the clearance trolley and I stocked up there on flats of flowering annuals for .50 and 1.00.  My plan changed....  a womans perogative.  Instead of lots of mulch I would have lots of flowers. In between the flowers I have dressed the soil with mushroom compost which is reccomended as a mulch, but then also is a fantastic fertilizer (and organic) as it breaks down.  By then the bed should be well covered in flowers.  I have found that weeds like open spaces, so my plan is just to crowd out the weeds, and what better way than with flowers.  At that price I didnt really care what flowers they were, but I got a six pack of yellow snapdragons, a 10 pack of verbena a four pack of purple daisies.   I talked myself out of the mulch because
1. Wood chips are 3 times the price of mushroom compost
 2. We have a lot of ants and I am suspecting that wood chips might not be a good thing to have around when there are ants looking for a home.
During the week I saw a  photo of the bleeding heart vine which is flowering now in Florida USA, which means it will flower here during our wet season.  What a beautiful vine, and when I saw one in the clearance bin as well I snapped it up.   Is it serendipity that makes you read about something one week and then see it on clearance that weekend?  Obviously I am meant to have one of these creepers, and it is going to love living in my garden.  I tidied up that part of the garden and it is looking quite nice - just need those creepers to start covering it all up.  I realise this photo does not look much different to the last photos of this area, but there was losts of hot weeding, and tying up those supports that went on in between the two photos.
I had planned to spend the morning in the garden and the afternoon cleaning the house, but it was 4pm by the time I came inside.   (I never try to do it the other way around, but I am sure  I wouldnt have been cleaning the house until 4 if gardening awaited!)  I did get a lot of things done - cutting back, and spreading a bit of my favourite pick me up on the plants.  It is called 5 in 1 and consists of mushroom compost, manure, and blood and bone.
I have put in a few fresh seeds, tied back the tomato plants onto stakes and generally cleared out the vegetable patch to allow more light and air in.  Everyone is complaining about the amount of bugs this year, maybe because the wet season went on for so long, but I am hoping the next seeds that sprout will have a better chance.
As I was cutting back some pigeon pea sprouts I came across this little guy, and moved him onto an amaryllis leaf, where he seems quite happy.

We normally get the ones with smooth skin - I have never seen one with bumpy skin like this.  Isnt he cute?


  1. Always fun to find flowers on sale and pick up a few more. I should've stayed inside today to clean, too, because it was raining. Instead I worked in the garden in the rain. It was such a nice relief from the blazing sun.

    Love the mushroom compost. Hopefully your plants will crowd out the weeds. But mulch is necessary here regardless... it helps the ground hold water.

  2. Bleeding heart vines are blooming all over my nephew's garden. They are so beautiful! Wish I didn't have a vine phobia. It bloomed in our dry season, though. It's always interesting to learn of the different behavior patterns of plants around the world. Anyway, as Meems mentioned, we had rain, rain, rain here in Florida today! It was wonderful! I too worked pulling weeds for six hours. It's too much work unless rain has softened the ground. Well, it's too much work anyway.

    Love, love, love that frog! He is adorable!

  3. Meems,
    well if the ground is soft, then as Floridagirl said it is so much easier to weed, so things have to take priority. I have used hay as mulch here, but dont like the look of it amongst the flowers. This will work like mulch in keeping in the moisture, and add nutrients at the same time.
    so those photos I saw are the vine ending its flowering season? Thats nice, I might see some flowers sooner rather than later. Glad you have the rain finally - our wet season started late and finished late too. This frog was a little different to the ones we normally see around here.

  4. Those bleeding hearts are really gorgeous! I should try them again...I had them in Chicago, but they never did well (hmmmm...go figure!). I like your new idea of over filling with flowers vs. mulch...and am a regular visitor to the clearance rack. Good finds!!!

  5. You got frogs! How cool is that. Love the yard. jim

  6. Kimberley,
    well if it wasnt for looking at peoples blogs I would never have known how pretty they were and might have passed this by. Yes I am sure you would be able to grow it where you are now.
    thanks Jim,
    He was gone this morning, but I do love to see them as they pass through.

  7. cute frog cute frog cute frog!!! He looks a lot like our local green frogs here in florida! I would get the compost too if it was available... good choice!


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