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jemsister
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Too late to mulch? Recommends for cool damp climate?

I have read that mulching helps cut down on disease. I haven't used mulch anywhere, and I everything has been in the ground for a month or more. Is the anti-disease effect of mulch nullified if I didn't mulch right away?

If mulching late is still beneficial, does anyone have any recommendations on what to mulch with in our cool, damp, fungus-loving climate? (Northwestern Washington.)

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prettygurl
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Re: Too late to mulch? Recommends for cool damp climate?

I am trying grass cuttings this year. I live in a region that receives a lot of precipitation. It is never too late to mulch.

If you are having problems with disease, then you might want to try an organic fungicide. Blight is usually a problem here because of the moisture and most people use the fungicide to combat disease.

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Re: Too late to mulch? Recommends for cool damp climate?

It is never too late to mulch. I use a layer or two of newspaper and cover with straw. I think both would work for you. You probably have access to pine straw and that mulch has been used by lots of folks. Grass clippings are good. You may have to be a little more careful not to damage your plants when putting the mulch down, but mulching will help reduce splashing soil on leaves of tomatoes which spreads disease to the plants. The funguses, (fungi), growing in mulch is not the same as the disease carrying bacteria or virus causing tomato diseases.
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vinyl217
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Re: Too late to mulch? Recommends for cool damp climate?

prettygurl wrote:I am trying grass cuttings this year. I live in a region that receives a lot of precipitation. It is never too late to mulch.

If you are having problems with disease, then you might want to try an organic fungicide. Blight is usually a problem here because of the moisture and most people use the fungicide to combat disease.
Remember that mulching with grass clippings will be a Nitrogen boost to your plants, something to keep in mind of you plan on fertilizing. And PaulF & prettygurl are absolutely right, it's never too late to mulch. I also use straw, but no newspaper, although I imagine a layer of newspaper would do wonders for blocking most weeds from coming up.
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jemsister
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Re: Too late to mulch? Recommends for cool damp climate?

Thanks, guys! I had been considering mulching with grass clippings, but we have a lot of moss in our grass. Could that be bad? Hubby mowed this weekend, but the grass clippings are gone now. Rats!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Too late to mulch? Recommends for cool damp climate?

I agree with all the never too late comments. Mulching may help with disease prevention especially of any soil borne diseases. Won't help with diseases that are airborne. But I don't think of that as the main reason to mulch. Main reasons are that it suppresses weeds, so you won't have nearly as much weeding to do and it conserves moisture in the soil. Eventually your organic mulch breaks down and adds fertility to the soil.

Grass clippings are great if you have them. i usually don't, because I leave the grass clippings in the lawn to help feed it. So pulled weeds also work and yard trimmings, shredded paper, wood chips, fall leaves (in the fall I collect bags of leaves for my compost pile and for mulching), straw (in summer once the fall leaves are all used up, I usually buy one bale of straw to feed in to my compost pile and to renew all the mulches). This year I am trying to do brown and green mulching, just as I put brown and green in the compost pile. So a layer of fall leaves or wood chips covered with a layer of green yard trimmings and weeds.

The other day I was working on my community garden plot. When I walked up and looked at it, I immediately noticed one little patch of it that was full of weeds. I realized that was the little patch where I ran out of mulch (and energy!) when I was mulching the bed. So all of the mulched area, no weeds. The one little un-mulched spot, thick with weeds. It was a great demonstration!
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jemsister
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Re: Too late to mulch? Recommends for cool damp climate?

Oh wow, that is interesting! My biggest weed problem (and a legitimate one at that) is grass. I get some dandelions, but having the bed right up against the lawn with nothing dividing it or holding it back in any way means lots of grass pulling. I try not to let that get out of hand, since I understand that grass has invasive root systems (probably the reason it keeps coming back.

Gonna have to figure out a creative way to mulch. Maybe I can scoop out the mulch from where Hubs trimmed all the weeds at the fences. Do I need to let it dry out first?

Can you mulch with coffee grounds? I have a ton of them in my garage from Starbucks. XP

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Too late to mulch? Recommends for cool damp climate?

Coffee grounds are good, if mixed in to the soil a little bit or mixed with other stuff. A heavy layer of just coffee grounds can make a hard crust and repel water.

I don't bother letting weeds/ trimmings dry out before mulching with them, but partly that's because I'm putting them on top of a layer of drier stuff like fall leaves. That makes sure the weeds can't just root themselves back in to the ground.
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jemsister
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Re: Too late to mulch? Recommends for cool damp climate?

Thanks a lot for the help! I'll scrounge around here and see what I can come up with. Hopefully something decent!

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