Messages posted to thread:

Terri G23-Jan-05 09:40 AM EST 2a   
Nancy24-Jan-05 01:21 PM EST 5   
Duncan26-Jan-05 06:55 PM EST 4a   

Subject: Use of Xmas Tree Mulch
From: Terri G
Zone: 2a
Date: 23-Jan-05 09:40 AM EST

This year, I took advantage of our city's offer of free mulch from people's recycled Christmas trees. Once I got it home, however, I started thinking that I may be limited in how/where I use the mulch because of the acidity? Am I going to be able to use the mulch in my beds without harming plants, or am I limited to using it for walkways and paths? Thanks.

Subject: RE: Use of Xmas Tree Mulch
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 24-Jan-05 01:21 PM EST

Hi Terri,

I'd be leary of using fresh wood chips directly on your flower beds. Have heard that when they break down they'll rob your soil of nitrogen. You're better off to compost them for a year first, or use them for paths.

Subject: RE: Use of Xmas Tree Mulch
From: Duncan (
Zone: 4a
Date: 26-Jan-05 06:55 PM EST

Ahhh: The prospect of fee mulch. "Who could go wrong???"

Garden Log:

Date: 2nd year of garden establishment.

Mission: Convince neighbors to deliver all their bags of leaves destined for dump, to my front yard. Result: Ureeka!!! Mission accomplished! 60 bags of leaves into my little plot. "Darn, I'm feeling proud about being an organic gardener."

Date: 3rd year of garden establishment: "Why is my ph dropping like a stone?"

Hi Terri The above chronicles my attempts to build up my soil base on my small home plot up here in Sudbury. I ended up adding 40 kg of lime to bring things back into balance. But this was because I started with the local peat-type loam as a base. You are on target when you raise your concerns of acidification. I see you are in a zone 2a. If you are dealing with some of those prarie-alkaline soils, this may well be the recipe to neutralize your soil to a healthy 6.5 to 7.5. I would suggest picking up a ph test kit at your local growers outlet. If you are uncertain, pile it up and compost it. Nancy is correct about the nitrogen consumption. You can accelerate the the composting process by adding a compost accelerator or a high-nitrogen fertilizer (first number on the x-y-z label on the bag). The good news is that when it's all done, you get most of it back (the balance expires as gasses: NO2 & "toots" (CH4)(methane)..."In spite of your best efforts, you too will contribute to global warming.")'s better than the dump: Duncan

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