Worlds Best Mulch

As promisedworlds best mulch, a post about the best mulch we have ever used. If you haven’t already guessed it from previous pictures, we use both shredded and whole leaves in our mulching program. It is free, easy to handle, free, effective, aromatic, free. It also happens to be free, which just happens to be my favorite word today.

When we first started our garden, the place was all grass and hard clay soil. To be kind, it looked like crap. Little was growing and digging plants in was just about the worst experience I have ever had. We killed the grass with newspaper and mulched over that with wood chips. This looked nice and effectively killed the grass, but did little to improve soil quality. After a year, the plants were growing well in the xeriscape and the newspaper was doing its job, but under the newpaper we still had hard dense clay, blech.

I had long been reading numerous gardening gurus extolling the virtues of shredded leaf mulch as both a mulch and soil conditioner. The idea was that local arthropods, worm, fungi, bacteria, and other sundry soil creatures would process the mulch far quicker than they would work on wood chips. You would need more leaves to keep up, but in the end the decomposed duff would find its way into the first few inches of soil and work its magic for your planties.

So last fall, plagued with unemployment boredom, I set out to give it try. I donned my urban camo, pulled the license plates off of my truck, got myself some mirrored sunglasses, and set out upon my neighborhood every Tuesday and Friday; yep, you guessed it, trash day. I would covertly idle into the nicer streets in my hood and pilfer bags of leaves. What’s that, you think I’m nuts? Well stranger, you don’t know the half of it. I would pile the bags high in my garage (I should note this pile was somewhat visible to the public, much to my wife’s chagrin) and slowly work on getting them into the garden.

best mulch“But teacher, how do you shred leaves?”

With a homemade shredder, free I might add. So I took my garbage can (Yay multi-use items) and modded my weed whacker with one of those crazy narly torture like devices you bolt on in place of the line spool. It had 3 blades that whir around and make you worry about your eyes, so yes, wear protection. Leaves go into garbage can, shredder comes to life, lid with hole cut in it goes on, and several minutes and a rather imposing dust cloud later (neighbors love me) you have shredded leaf mulch. This goes out to the garden, compost pile, or another receptacle for later use. Wash rinse repeat ad infinitum.

I piled this sh*t high, sometimes a foot thick. At times I would skip the shredding and just pile leaves around my xeriscape. Neighbors looked on with worry. Did he lose it? Did he ever have it to begin with? Conjecture flowed about like hot butter on a pancake. Weeks came and went as I kept toiling away with my weed whacker stuck in a trash can moving up and down like I was operating some sort of butter churn out of the twilight zone (doo dee doo doo, doo dee doo doo).

So the results, you ask? Phe effing nomenal!!! They say a healthy soil will have six or so red wrigglers per full spade of soil. Well, just moving the mulch aside and exposing the soil surface will reveal that many earthworms. Dig a bit, not with your spade silly, with your fingers, and you would find a veritable worm orgy, or schmorgisborg; well hell, let’s just make a new term here: a worm schmorgisb-orgy. Notice how I wrote you no longer need a shovel. That’s right, you can condition hard clay soil in just a few months sans tiller, with just a little bit of ingenuity, and a heaping pantload of perceived insanity.

Best Plans for Garden Sheds

What was an eight ft by twenty foot by eight ft tall pile of leaf bags (lovingly referred to as OPBL: other people’s bagged leaves) has now dwindled down to just a dozen or so bags, just enough, I presume, to last the summer until the next scavenger season begins anew. Susie has stopped stressing about the pile of bags and now extols the virtues of my practice herself. Neadless to say we were both amazed and have been enjoying the results so far.

But lets get back to economics class for just a second. All my equipment was free or repurposed, so no additional cost and I figure I used about two gallons of gas embarrassing myself around my hood. Wood chip mulch costs between a clam and a half and several pelts a bag at the local big box. In the past, i.e. the first year here, we spent around $60 on mulch a year. Not really all that much savings until you compare how the two methods stack up.

The wood mulch broke down some, but generally just covered the soil. We still have some mulch from those first bags, albeit mostly crumbs now, but still there. The pine bark didn’t break down at all and the clay under it may as well be fired pottery. When you dig a plant in, some of the wood gets mixed into the soil and causes nitrogen shortages as it breaks down, leading you to have to coddle along a yellow plant until the wood breaks down in the soil. The leaves don’t act like this. They break down fast and feed the beneficial critters along the way, leaving a layer of black, loamy, crumbly duff that gets churned into the soil by the critters. This leaves the hipster gardener with several inches of heavily amended soil chompin’ at the bit to grow him some fine veggie goodness. This duff, tho high in carbon, won’t tie up nitrogen like the mixed in mulch because it has already done so as it was breaking down, just above the soil surface where nitrogen is abundant, read in the air.

It’s hard to place an intrinsic value on my leaf mulch since there is no retail based analog to compare to. Wood mulch just plain sucks unless you are bringing in a lot of compost for your soil, so more added cost there too. But I hear you all clamoring for a figure, so ok. I value my mulch practice at (Dun Dun DUUUUNNN) ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!! There, you happy?

I hope this will get my readers off of wood chip mulch as soon as fall comes. The aesthetics are similar, but the results are just too good to be true, until it is true, and then it is oh so good.

Thanks for reading, back to the garden to say hello to my wriggly friends.


Today We Dry Basil

basil1This stuff is always a treat during the wintertime. It is great in soups. We shoot for having several jars of dried basil before the first frosts take out the plants. This year we will exceed that and have plenty to spare. So for now we are going to have to eat plenty of pesto and let the rabbits have the rest. Oh yeah, rabbits LOVE basil. Of all we feed them from the garden, they will hit the basil first. Over carrots even.

Best Plans for Garden Sheds

Basil is just one of those plants everyone should grow. You don’t need much space, soil, water, nutrients, etc. It just grows. As easy as it is to grow I am continually astounded by the prices our grocers charge for fresh basil. It boggles the mind when you feed 20 bucks (super overpriced grocery value) worth of basil to the bunnies. If you have sunlight, soil, or even a pot, grow basil.

Where to Buy the Best Quality Outdoor Storage Sheds in Denton KS 66017

Tracking Down The Best Outdoor Storage Sheds Designs Denton KS 66017 To Match Up To Your Purposes

The trick to buying the perfect storage shed is know exactly what you want and need, and then put in the time to research which shed construction is right for your needs. Typically, customers want the most amount of storage space possible, but it is more important to find a storage shed kits that fits well into the space you’re putting it in.

Today; due to advancements in material technology; many storage sheds are portable and this make them very flexible for you. For ease of use; it’s no surprise that the smaller transportable storage sheds can be moved around your backyard or property with comparative ease, but even the bigger storage structures can be disassembled and moved to a new area in the backyard or even to a different yard altogether. The solution to simple transfer of portable storage sheds is their design. The best manufacturers make their sheds with pre-cut and pre-drilled parts so that the sheds are easy to put together and disassembled again.

One of the top resources for quality portable storage sheds is a trustworthy online shed supply site. Good dealers carry brands like Arrow, Duramax. Each of these manufacturers includes comprehensive instruction booklets with their shed kits so that assembly can be made as easy as feasible. In the majority of cases, a well-assembled shed can also be taken apart and moved without too much trouble. After all, why spend time and money building a great storage shed in your backyard if you just have to leave it behind when and if you move? This is a significant problem for people who rent or need to relocate on a regular basis. Portable storage sheds are the answer.

Sheds, garden buildings or summer houses can be made from a range of different materials depending on your choice or budget. They can be made from wood, plain or coated metal or now more frequently from resin based injected molded plastic and come with UV protection. This makes them rust, rot, scratch, mildew, and fade resistant. You need a storage shed that involve less maintenance.

There are available, storage shed kits that provide a great deal of stability and durability for your storage needs. Made out of the best quality PVC on top of steel frames and supports, these sheds can withstand winds of up to 115 mph. They are weather-proof and maintenance free and only take a few hours to assemble.

Best Plans for Garden Sheds

With property getting more and more expensive in Denton KS 66017, many people look for more affordable ways to save space in their homes. A popular space-saving technique is the use of outdoor storage sheds that can be placed in a yard or somewhere outside of the house. By storing items outdoors you are able to utilize a much great amount of your home which would otherwise be taken up by clutter. Outdoor storage sheds are extremely useful, and they can be used in almost anyway imaginable making them a practical purchase for any homeowner.

As real estate prices continue to increase in Denton KS, more and more people are turning to outdoor storage sheds for extra space. You’ll find large numbers of sheds in places where real estate is especially expensive and where homeowners don’t have quite as much room in their homes as they would like. The good people of Kansas are a leading buyer in outdoor storage sheds as they try to maximize the living space of every inch of their home. The same is true in other states as well, as in increasing amount of people are finding space-saving salvation in storage sheds.

Other leaders in storage shed consumers are the states of New York and New Jersey, which is another region of the United States where real estate is limited and expensive. The southern part of the United States also has a large consumer base for outdoor storage sheds. The demand for outdoor storage sheds is not as high in the Midwest and other parts of the country where the majority of homes have basements, but you will still find outdoor storage sheds anywhere you go in the continental United States.

There are many types of sheds that you can purchase, and all have their own individual qualities. Before purchasing a storage shed in Denton KS 66017 it is recommended that you do some preliminary research to decide on the type, size, and material of the suncast sheds you need. If you’re in the market for a metal shed you should look into Arrow Sheds, as they are the leading manufacturer in metal sheds. Duramax is the largest vinyl shed manufacturer, as well as leading the industry in the production of garage sheds and insulated sheds. If you need a large shed you should purchase a Suncast, but if a smaller shed is what you’re in the market for that a Rubbermaid shed would be recommended.

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We hope you found this outdoor storage shed article useful please share with your friends and family in Denton KS. You never know if they may be looking for storage shed in Denton KS 66017