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Re: Bark Mulch and community gardens

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Bark Mulch and community gardens
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2003 12:52:52 EDT


Bark mulch can break down as well as anything else, but unless the yard 
behind you has been in your family for generations, the smartest thing, after 
setting up a compost bin this weekend for your veggie waste (if your 
municipality permits backyard composting)   you might want to do is to do 
some soil testing, if you haven't do it for a while. 

In the best case, you can find out what's in your dirt and if you need to 
amend it in any particular way for veggies, perennials, whatever. 

In the worst case, if there has been any environmental pollution on your land 
(usually lead paint) or any other kinds of heavy metal or chemical seepage 
from nearby residences of businesses (like a garage or long closed factory) 
you can find out, and perhaps create raised beds or containers that won't 
soak up the bad stuff. 

You can get a line on soil testing from the Virginia Cooperative Extension : 
http://www.ext.vt.edu/. Here is a list of local offices: 
http://www.ext.vt.edu/offices/. There is a Home Gardening button on the 
website with an awful lot of links which can give you great, in-state 
information on how to best deal with your dirt.

Also, I'd be remiss in passing up this opportunity for you to contact 
community garden legend ( and former ACGA president) 
Mr. Tom Tyler, M.S., Extension Agent for Environmental Horticulture, Virginia 
Cooperative Extension, Arlington County, ttyler@vt.edu.

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman

<< Subj:     [cg] Bark Mulch and community gardens
 Date:  4/18/03 11:34:20 AM Eastern Daylight Time
 From:  johnrichmond50@hotmail.com (John Richmond)
 Sender:    community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
 To:    community_garden@mallorn.com
 I'm a long-time lurker on this list who enjoys receiving it every day. I 
 live in the oldest residential neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, one mile 
 from downtown, the state capitol, and city hall. This year I'm starting a 
 backyard garden using biointensive techniques, especially from John Jeavons. 
 I just put in my compost piles last night.
 Parts of two of the beds I want to dig are in a part of the yard that is 
 covered with bark mulch. Can I mix that into the ground as I dig, or is it 
 more productive to do something else with it?
 Congratulations on ACGA's move to Blacksburg. I lived there for six years 
 and not only is it a wonderful town, but it will find a great deal of 
 community support there, some of it from old friends of mine who direct 
 Virginia Tech's recycling program and the student YMCA. Hopefully we can 
 make some use of this resource in Richmond. There is a small community 
 garden on a lot where there used to be a house. In my section of the city 
 and in a few others there are thousands of vacant lots, a few of them 
 block-sized, where gardens could take off. I'd like to get in on that 
 movement once I've got a little experience with my own garden.
 John Richmond

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