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Re: Re: CULT: mulch (was TB: Mariah)

In a message dated 12/20/2002 11:00:56 AM Central Standard Time, 
lmann@volfirst.net writes:

> How often do you have to replace mulch?
> Love to hear more details of various mulches/techniques you've used. 

If I do, it is when I redo an existing bed. I'm too lazy to do more often. 
Whatever is there from previous at time of redo is tilled into the soil. Or 
when curiosity strikes and I wonder what will happen if I try this.

If there is an easy way, I would think that to be preparing the soil in 
advance, in a bed big enough to handle what ever size load the mulch comes in 
and have it dumped in place. Let the mulch compost in place, then spread. 
Then plant. Might take some thinkin' ahead.

That radical and world class hybridizer Moores (you know, the Lemon Chess, 
under recognized Confederate Royalty, Chocolate Chess, and Gold Reprise  
feller) came up with the long lost and much sought  B. Y. Morrison Iris 
Research Project. One facet (it attempts several) of this study evaluated a 
number of different mulches on iris beds. Somewhat short term and prone to 
generate more questions, it was a controlled experiment and gives a good 
starting point. They evaluated black plastic covered with gravel, sawdust, 
pine straw, leaves, peat moss, perlite, gin trash, plastic and no mulch.

Bottom line on the mulch facet of the report is survival is best under pine 
straw and worst under sawdust.

Perhaps a greater gem is gleaned from the report data:

Under pine straw mulch Stalks per plant = 6.5, Flowers per stalk= 5.25, 
plants with no bloom=0, and number of dead plants=0.

Under no mulch Stalks per plant= 5.8, Flowers/stalk=4.88, plants with no 
bloom=3, and number of dead plants=4.

Thinkin' information from controlled studies is some better than 
misinformation from garden lore.

Thanks to that Moores guy for information and Lemon Chess.

Bill Burleson 7a/b
Old South Iris Society

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