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Re: Clematis & Rocks

Interesting Marge. I may have to dig under the gravel tonight and stick
my paw down in the soil to test that out ;-) Actually what I really need
to do is weed that bed since it rained yesterday. The herb bed doesn't
get watered and the ground gets so hard and dry in the summer that you
can hardly dig weeds out. Thank God for lava sand or I'd never be able
to grow this stuff in clay. BTW - Thumper's back, ran him off from my
peppers last night. Persistent little thing....

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: "Marge Talt" <mtalt@hort.net>
Reply-To: gardenchat@hort.net
Date:  Fri, 27 Jun 2003 02:38:58 -0400

>Cathy, IMO, the deeper the layer of gravel, the cooler and moister
>the soil under it will be - a thin, one inch or less layer of gravel
>doesn't do a whole lot; it's better than bare soil but not by much.  
>A thicker layer of gravel acts like a large rock in keeping
>underlying soil cooler - keeping it shaded from the sun. 
>Pam, I use pea gravel as a topping to my sandbed because it drains
>well.  Draining well doesn't mean that the soil stays dry under it,
>just that water moves through it fast - which is what your herbs are
>liking as all of those you mention want sharp drainage.  They don't
>want water sitting around their crowns, but do need some moisture at
>the roots.
>As for warming - the top surface of a gravel mulch will be warm, but
>the soil under it will be cooler than the air temperature.  It will
>also be moister than exposed soil because the gravel (like about any
>mulch) will reduce surface evaporation.  This will not hold true if
>the soil under the mulch is full of tree roots as they will suck up
>all available water when it's hot and dry.  
>Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
>Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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>All Suite101.com garden topics :
>> From: Pamela J. Evans <gardenqueen@gbronline.com>
>> I don't know but I use a 2" pea gravel mulch in my herb bed because
>> does NOT hold moisture and it gets warm, but that's what the
>> stuff (lavender, rosemary, thyme, artemisia and ornamental sage)
>> Maybe stone is different?
>> Wish the Bermuda didn't like it as well, but it's less invasive
>there than the regular beds...
>> ---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
>> From: cathy carpenter <cathyc@rnet.com>
>> >Could be true. Most examples of rock mulch I have seen were
>> >near 2" in depth. Guess I'd need to see a controlled study of some
>> >Cathy
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Pam Evans
Kemp TX/zone 8A


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