Laura321
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia

Composting and mulched bed

Ok this may be a no brainer for many of you but I'm a novice gardener. I started a shade garden bed under an apple tree this spring and mulched with a combination of cedar chips and spruce needles. So far it's doing a pretty good job of keeping the weeds out. I added top soil and compost before mulching, but what to I do next spring? Scrape all the mulch away, add compost and top soil, then spread the mulch back out? Or can I just add some compost to the base of the plants on top of the mulch? There's only a few plants in the bed right now but as I add to it I'm thinking I'll need to add top soiwe with new plantings which further complicates things.

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rainbowgardener
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Any of those would work, but by next spring your mulch will be pretty well broken down, depending on what mulch you use. Even if it is wood chips, if they have mostly rotted and are soft and crumbly, I dig them into the soil along with the compost and then add new mulch.
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Laura321
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:33 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia

Thanks Rainbowgardener. I thought it would take a couple of years at least before that much decomposition took place. Don't conifer needles take a while?

Would it work to add compost to the base of the plants and then top up the mulch without working anything into the soil?

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rainbowgardener
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Sorry, I think I sort of missed that about the conifer needles. Yes, they do take awhile. So yes and yes.

It is workable to just put compost on top of the soil as a top dressing I do that mid season when the plants need a boost. But I think the compost does more good, gets broken down to feed the plants quicker, when buried. You can just move your mulch out of the way to do that.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Laura321
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:33 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia

Thanks, Rainbow :D

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