Thursday, May 13, 2021

Mulch - how important is it in the garden?

Living in the tropics, I find that the soil must be covered at all times, either with plants or mulch. 

The pine bark mulch at our local supermarket was on special, so I rushed in to get 14 bags.   I tend to switch what type of mulch I use in the garden over time. Last year I used hay mulch, and the time before it was peanut husks.    Of course, all the time I also have lots of leaves falling from my lychee tree.  I do pick up a lot of those leaves for the compost, but plenty lie under tree slowly forming leaf mold.   They can draw nitrogen from the soil as they break down, but I find a sprinkle of home made  compost on the leaves every now and then seems to fix that problem.  The first area I added the mulch was the little bed right outside the bedroom window.  I had weeded that bed the day before, and removed the mondo grass edging as it was getting too invasive.



I think the ground orchids will grow well in that area now. Those are pink and purple, and I just noticed how much red there is in that area.  Next I moved onto the area under the lychee tree and near the gate.  The fern forest I have now named it.   I like to name areas of my garden, and this used to be fan palm corner, until the fan palms got too big, and I had to chop their heads off!   I now have a selection of tree ferns growing there and have added my orchids to the fence, and also hung some on the fan palm trunk.  The pots of rex begonias form the edging.

On the other side of the big gate is the entrance, and I tidied up that area, moving the desert roses over next to the pathway, while I work on that bed, but might keep them like that, as I do love the flow of the path.   



The other area out the front needed lots of weeding, so hopefully the mulch stops the weeds growing up again.



I still have half the bags left, but will add compost to the pots in fruit salad alley before I mulch them.   The area where the lady slipper orchid resides will be a big job cutting back and weeding.   It is just starting to flower, and I have been vigilant this year in keeping it contained to one area.    (I think!!!, you never know where it will pop up next!)

Do you tend to stick to the same colour grouping in areas?

What mulch do you mostly use, or do you chop and change like I do?

13 comments:

  1. Again! I am so very glad you're back! Your gardens and yard areas are looking beautiful. I would love to be able to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with you.

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  2. We usually use sugarcane mulch. I don't have much of a green thumb though as my hubby was always the gardener when I was in the workforce. Our mondo grass hardly grows at all so I guess it must like the hot, wet weather up there. After days of storms with frightening lightning we are now due for fine but cold days. A good time to head north 🏝

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    1. We just have gentle rain today, and yes most of the time here is is warm or hot. Cold does not feature!

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  3. I thought I would post my "reply comment" over here so you can see it. Glad to see that you are going to get back into blogging. Have you thought about getting a "ring light" from Kmart they are really cheap like $20 for your photos. I'm sure it was a shock to lose your job when you weren't expecting it, it was a rough year for many people. You'll get into the swing of retirement and before you know it you won't miss work. As long as you plan activities like your crafting and catch up with friends. Lovely to hear from you. Kathy

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    Replies
    1. I will look into those ring lights, thank you. Yes itis jsut a case of adjusting.

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  4. ps..when blogspot made changes I was very confused and it took longer to do a post and know what to do however after a month I knew what to do and just kept going. I wouldn't move to a whole new platform because I would then have to learn everything. [ps..I hate change] however you soon learn what has changed and how to do it now. Glad you are back blogging. Kathy

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    1. It is good to be back blogging. I am struggling to find a routine though, so am not posting as regularly, or reading other blogs as much as I used to.

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  5. I use the leaves from our trees that I rake in the fall as mulch. I also use newspaper and cardboard if I really need to kill some weeds. It's interesting seeing your photos as it looks like many of your plants grow large and you have to tame them. My problem is usually more about getting my plants to size up.

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    1. Yes, I love how the leaves eventually break down into lovely black gold! You are right, I am always cutting back!

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  6. Lots of leaves just stay on the ground as mulch, but adding some to the compost really ramps it up. Yes, you are right that most of my gardening consists of taming the wild!

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  7. Am enjoying being able to check in on your garden life again. Best wishes for new seasons of life. The other day I saw this statement written on a construction screen fence down in Waikiki....."Cultivate the life you love". Looks like you are working on that. Aloha

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