jul1799
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Mulching for raised bed

Good day,
Our city distributes shredded trees as free mulch. Sometimes they are saying that tree may have some tree disease. Is it safe to use in the garden?

I'd like to use mulch for veggies in raised bed and for black current shrubs. What kind of mulch is better to use thinner one which looks like thick threads , wood chips or bark?
I did ask in store few times and every time got different answer :(

thank you.

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Lonesomedave
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Location: NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE- zone 6B - 7A on USDA plant hardiness map

Re: Mulching for raised bed

i would stay away from shredded trees, as there are some potential problems.....including disease, although the real problem is that wood takes up nitrogen from the soil.

if you can get it (and the only type of mulch i will use) COMPOSTED hardwood tree leaves are unbeatable....they provide beneficial elements and don't take up nitrogen....only use COMPOSTED ones.... NOT FRESH

/dave/
Fertilizer...Kelp Extract...Compost Tea...Fish Emulsion....Manure (tea)...etc....A little all the time is better than a lot at once... thus endeth the lesson....

jul1799
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Re: Mulching for raised bed

thank you. Can I leave tomatoes leaves as mulching ? Should I shred them first ?

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Lonesomedave
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Re: Mulching for raised bed

well...i don't actually know, I have to admit i don't really know much about what you should not do. but on the video i recently watched (and posted in the tomato video forum), featuring dr. david (i think) kroska, he would not recommend it.....he says get all old tomato plants, plant parts etc away and dispose of them.

apparently, used tomato plants really do carry a lot of disease

/dave/
Fertilizer...Kelp Extract...Compost Tea...Fish Emulsion....Manure (tea)...etc....A little all the time is better than a lot at once... thus endeth the lesson....

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jal_ut
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Re: Mulching for raised bed

I would stay away from wood products. Do you have a lawn? The grass clipping are excellent mulch. Try putting down a layer of newspaper, two or three sheets thick, then the mulch.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Mulching for raised bed

I agree, wood chips make good mulch for trees and shrubs, not so much for veggies and annuals.

I use a mixture of grass clippings, pulled weeds, various yard trimmings and fall leaves. When I run out of fall leaves I get a bale of straw to use as "browns" in the compost pile and for mulching.
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

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Lonesomedave
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Re: Mulching for raised bed

and, yeah...those store guys try to be helpful, but they don't really know

/dave/
Fertilizer...Kelp Extract...Compost Tea...Fish Emulsion....Manure (tea)...etc....A little all the time is better than a lot at once... thus endeth the lesson....

jul1799
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Re: Mulching for raised bed

thank you

Can I use it fresh?

I am cutting tomato leafs. Can I just leave them on soil or i need to cut them?

In the autumn time I have leafs from shrubs and tansy . Can I just incorporate them into beds and let compost till spring?

Tansy is poison for animals, but it seems good for composting. Is there any plant I should avoid to place in the bed soil?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Mulching for raised bed

jul1799 wrote:thank you

Can I use it fresh? What is "it"? Generally the types of mulch I mentioned can be used fresh.

I am cutting tomato leafs. Can I just leave them on soil or i need to cut them? Many leaves can be just left on the soil. Tomatoes are tricky, because they are so prone to so many diseases. If you are convinced they are healthy, they can be left on the soil, but they could be harboring spores of septoria or something, that just isn't visible yet.

In the autumn time I have leafs from shrubs and tansy . Can I just incorporate them into beds and let compost till spring? Yes or you can just put them on the top of the soil for mulch and then turn them under in the spring. I think it is good to have a mulch covering on your soil for winter. Helps keep nutrients from being washed out of your soil, slows down the influx of weed seeds, etc.

Tansy is poison for animals, but it seems good for composting. Is there any plant I should avoid to place in the bed soil? Don't compost poison ivy, the allergenic oil can get spread through your compost. Be very careful about composting invasive weeds that spread by the roots like bindweed. Any little piece of bindweed stem or root that survives composting will take root again. Don't compost any diseased plants unless you are very sure of the heat/thoroughness of your composting process. If you use poisons in your garden (herbicides, insecticides, etc), don't compost anything that was sprayed with poison. Otherwise anything should be OK.
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

jul1799
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Location: Toronto

Re: Mulching for raised bed

Thank you very much for your answer, rainbowgardener

I have tansy a bit - I was reading it would keep animals away, I think I also read it is good for compost as well as black chokeberry (aronia) or only one of them, I need to check again.
So far we have never cleaned leafs under black chokeberry and those shrubs are great.


I got some grass clippings from local park . A lot of people are getting barbecue there, so I do not think any sprays are used. City just cuts part of the grass and let other part to grow wild.

I have started compost tea and think it is working. I have also read about yeast tea. I can translate for you if you are interested. I am not fun of yeast ans use sourdough for my bread. I am experimenting with diluted sourdough starter though:) I'll write about it, if experiment is successful.

thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

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