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Re: CULT: mulch (was TB: Mariah)

Bill Burleson in MS said:
<I believe you are in for an enlightening
experience with mulch in general as it relates to irises. Lots of
misinformation in today's garden lore gets repeated until it is accepted
fact, exacerbating back aches that not necessarily need be. >

Not me, I believe in mulching irises - you got me mixed up with somebody
else.  Best bloom & growth I've ever had was with nearly a foot of
uncomposted horse poop between rows of irises.  But I haven't been doing
it lately - maybe that's what you meant.  I definitely plan to do some
mulching in the worst of the gravel this year.  And have one newly reset
bed (an actual bed, not corn rows) heavily mulched with aged wood chips,
courtesy of the powerline right-of-way trimming crews.

Main reason I haven't mulched more is exactly the one you mention -
backache & shoulder bursitis to get it spread.

I haven't cultivated for the last few years - various reasons related to
weather, rebloom stalks in the way, tractor not working, me not
working....  Let the Roundup kill the weeds between the rows & let that
be mulch.

Hand weeding the remaining few weeds in the rows from a rolling seat
under a sunbrella is less strenuous than back breaking labor of
wheelbarrowing mulch.  Even when the truck is loaded for me, it still
has to be moved from the truck to the rows.

How often do you have to replace mulch?

Love to hear more details of various mulches/techniques you've used.  Or
others.  Especially if you know some trick to getting it distributed in
rows that would be less labor intensive than wheelbarrowing.  I've
imagined a manure spreader with some kind of baffle to shunt mulch away
from rows to the middles, but that would require buying a manure
spreader and a front-end loader, &  that's a bit too costly!  Plus I
might need a welding rig.....

I've been experimenting with using inexpensive snow sleds (the $8
plastic long skinny kind) to drag mulch.  Raking the stuff out of a pile
into the sled, then raking it back out at point of delivery.  Less
lifting involved, so easier on the back but much harder on the
shoulder.  The sled fits easily between the rows & scoots over grass &
packed soil with ease.  Not quite as easy over loose rocky mess, but not

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8

American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
iris-talk/Mallorn archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/>
iris-photos/Mallorn archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos/>

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