Tag Archives: Mulch

IS IT POSSIBLE TO KEEP YOUR GARDEN FREE FROM WEEDS?

Hmm. That’s a tall order. Weeds common to your garden are naturally suited to the sun, soil, and water conditions of this area. That’s why it’s so hard to get rid of weeds after they’ve taken root.

But if you prevent weed seeds from germinating, your garden can be weed-free. Here are some tips to keep weeds from growing in the first place.

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Wild Garlic or Wild Onion?

Which one do you have in your lawn or garden?

wild_garlic_plants          wild-onion

Wild Garlic                                         Wild Onion

Both are perennial, spread by seed, bulb, and bulblet. Wild garlic has 2–4 long narrow leaves that are round and hollow. The bulb has a yellowish-brown outer membrane with vertical fibers including several bulblets. Wild onion has more than 2 leaves, long and narrow but are flat, solid and slightly convex. The bulbs are brown with a pattern. There are 1–3 bulblets and the cut surface of the bulb will turn red when exposed to air.

The control is the same for both. For small patches pull or dig it out making sure you get all the bulbs and throw away in the trash. The bulbs can survive for several years so DO NOT COMPOST!

In the lawn you can slow the spread of both of these weeds by mowing regularly. It will help weaken the plant and decrease it’s seed production.

A post emergent herbicide can be applied when the weeds are actively growing in the fall, winter and spring. Treat plants when the greens are between 2 and 8 inches tall. In the garden make sure you protect nearby desirable plants when using an herbicide.

Mulching up to a depth of 4 inches has shown some success but that can create other problems in your garden.

Giordano’s can help you select the right Bonide treatment for your problem area!

 

 

The Science and Happiness of Mulching

Choosing the right mulch is essential to giving your plants the best possible conditions. Mulch improves plant growth, conserves moisture, reduces weed growth and moderates fluctuating temperatures. The contribution of mulch undoubtedly assists in the generation and balancing of an ideal micro-ecosystem for your landscape.

Fork It On!

pitchfork with mulch


Mulching is a Science, it turns out…

Who thought that gardeners would be reading graphs and performing tests with beakers & litmus paper? We did! We also piggy-backed on some research done by Fine Gardening and also by the University of Washington; thanks goes to them for the test results!

First let’s take a look at the Growth Graph of 5 different shrubs when planted in mulched vs unmulched. The shrubs studied were Arborvitae, Yew, Cranberrybush Viburnum, Hydrangea and Arrowwood Viburnum. Every mulch that was tested yielded similar enough results that they fell under the expected variance (or in other words, yielded no significant difference); save one. Cyprus mulch did not affect growth in any substantial way, but did offer weed suppression much like the other varieties of mulch tested. Without further adieu, here is the first graph we’ll take a look at.

growth-graph

Notice the range of difference between the mulched vs unmulched plants. While it varies from about 10cm to nearly 100cm, every shrub tested experienced improved growth and overall health when properly mulched. This alone implies significant value in mulching your landscapes. But, there’s more!

Other Benefits of Mulch from the Same Study:

Test Completed
No Mulch
Mulch

Soil Moisture Retention @ 2″ depth, 2 hours after watering
13%
42%

Soil Nutrient Retention & Availability in Root Zone
61%
87%

Weed Control
Unmitigated
76% Reduction

Time Spent Weeding 25 Shrubs Over a 3mo Period
Approx 19hrs
Approx 4hrs 45mins

The Results are Clear!

Mulching has a positive effect on ever aspect of your landscape. Another study conducted at the University of Washington in Seattle goes on to show that Nutrient Retention in Soil directly contributes to overall health of your plants and “…the surrounding landscape”! This means that healthy, happy plants make other plants HEALTHIER! We find it fascinating that there are levels of communication going on all around us, communication we can’t see or hear. And, we love that when your plants are happy and healthy they contribute to the overall happiness and health of your entire landscape. Keep that in mind the next time you’re out in the garden, it just might put a huge grin on your face!


Our Recommendations For Mulch:

  • Pine
  • Recycled Pallet
  • Cyprus
  • Hardwoods

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