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Thread: county landfill mulch_worth the effort??

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  1. #1
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    county landfill mulch_worth the effort??

    Our county hosts a site where they shred and pile up mulch for any county resident to haul away. I have frequently partaken of this mulch pile over the years, and feel that my soils have benefited from the organic matter. I am curious to note that altho the landfill mulch piles themselves don't seem to have this, if I don't get it spread instantly after I bring it home, the mulch seems to go gray inside my pile, and I wonder if that isn't some toxic organisms that will cause troubles in my planting areas. So far, I really haven't noticed any specific disease problems. but this year I noticed the mulch I had stored in a trash can had this gray look, and it made me wonder. Is it still so fresh that it is slowing turning to ash? Or is it fungus?
    Linda

  2. #2
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    Linda. I went yesterday and got a truck load of mulch from a local tree trimming company. I've also got mulch from a place similar to yours. I have also noticed the white. I figure it is mold or fungus. The pile I got yesterday was steaming. I've never noticed any problem from this mulch (except unloading it by myself). I will keep using it since I haven't had any problem, It is free and very close to my home. Maybe someone else can explain what the white is. I wonder if it not some type of fungus that is starting to break down the mulch. Either way as long as it benefits the soil and keeps out the weeds I will continue to use it.
    tennessee sue

  3. #3
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    My feelings exactly. I have so many earthworms now, and the soil over the past 20 years has really loosened with the added mulched stuff. I live in Virginia clay, truly do wish I was a potter as I dig up solid globs with every shovel-full when I work in a new area. Currently I am removing a 4' strip of lawn from around the entire edge of my yard and planting it with crape myrtles and azaleas. Hope to plant lots of seedling perrenials in front and around the new plantings. consequently I will need another van-full of mulch to cover after I have worked this batch into the soil somewhat.
    Here's hoping I am not bringing disaster to my new plants with this load of composted materials....I am only concerned as I don't see the gray look when I am digging in the huge mulch pile, but only after I have brought it home. Seems to me that I should see it both places or not at all.......
    Linda

  4. #4
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    Linda. When I got the mulch yesterday he loaded mine from the oldest pile and I did see some of the gray on some of the mulch.
    I am anxious to see what others say about it. I really don't think it is anything harmful.
    tennessee sue

  5. #5
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    I really don't think it's anything to worry about either. I've had wood chips piled for 2 yrs. or so now and I've also seen the 'white' stuff. Hasn't seemed to hurt anything here.
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  6. #6
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    Well, I have about gone thru the first load, and it certainly does improve the soil, so I am heading back for more. wish it didn't make the car smell for so long afterwards....took me over a month to get the smell out last time.
    Linda

  7. #7
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    wish it didn't make the car smell for so long afterwards....took me over a month to get the smell out last time.

    LOL! Linda !
    I hauled Cristmas tree mulch in my car after Christmas and it smelled great ! So did the garage where I stored it !
    It was like have a thousand of those deodorizer 'pine trees' that you hang on your rear view mirror !
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  8. #8
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    Wish this smelled so nice, mine is more like what i imagine tobacco leaves might smell like,,,,although I know that there are pine needles in it as I can see them but I don't know what else is there. Nothing much is identifiable, but there is a very distinctive smell associated with this mulch for several weeks!! whereever I spread it!!! Oh well, I love the stuff, so I am stuck with the smell as well!!
    Linda

  9. #9
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    Well, four van loads later and here I sit wishing for more mulch. The white fstuff hasn't hurt anything, the mulch is really helping the soil stay moist and the plants are growing like mad!! My advice to anyone, don't be afraid of the county mulch, put a nice layer on and have some for reserve for when the first layer packs down and dissolves into the soil. It certainly keeps the weeds down and the moisture in the soil for longer!!
    Linda

  10. #10
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    Linda, I am also having luck with my mulch from the tree trimmers. It is really helping me reclaim my gardens esp my front bed that was in such bad shape, Hopefully I can go next week and get a couple of more truck loads. Also want to go get a load of compost for the back flower bed extension. I finally got someone to get up the fallen tree so I can get to the bed now. Still have a few smaller branches to burn but at least the big trunks are gone.
    tennessee sue

  11. #11
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    Glad to hear the flower bed is coming along!! I have a nice part of my yard dug out and finished, but have other areas i want to tackle, but the heat is just too much now. It is cooler today but i cannot seem to get out of cleaning up inside, so the outside will wait. I want to "English edge" the rose garden again. Really, I think the brick edgings make life simplier, but I do love the undulating look of the lawn running right up to the garden mulch!
    Well, back to work!!
    Linda

  12. #12
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    Linda, I just want to mulch the whole yard and put in paths! I am going to use the brick edgers on my back bed to match the ones by the door. The front bed will just have to have the grass right up to it and hopefully not in it. For this year anyway.
    It has been much cooler and less humid here today. I went out as soon as I came in from work and started potting up some plants. Got all my shade plants off the ground and most of the houseplants moved around to the front.When I get the rest of them moved I am putting my shade plants there. The rest of the plants were just too big for me to fool with today since it is such a good day for transplanting. Has been cloudy all day but still not much rain. Plus my Jade Tree has gotten so big I can't hardly carry it anymore. It isn't as full this year as my kitty Moo Shou thought he was supposed to go downstairs and bring me a limb everynow and then this winter. THank goodness he has outgrown that habit because he is big enough now to carry the whole thing.
    The pics of your gardens are beautiful. If I ever get the back one finished I will try to post a pic. Wish I'd taken a before pic when the tree was across it.
    tennessee sue

  13. #13
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    Ah yes, my mulch is now mostly in the neighbor's yard more than mine. We have had the monsoons here, 11 inches in 3 days. Really a swamp!! I was astounded to note that in places the mulch acted as a watershed and the ground below was bone dry. This isn't the intention of mulch, I think. Well, I use a lot of it in the soil, so perhaps that will add to the moisture retention, which of course isn't needed just now!!
    Linda

  14. #14
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    I adore mulch. It's one of a gardener's best friends, but I have the same problem, NORMALLY! It often ends up being washed away. The pine bark decomposes too quickly, but WOW, what it does to the soil is remarkable.

    If I had my way, and nature would cooperate, I would have a grass free yard. Mowing twice a week - 9 months out of the year gets OLD really fast.

    On the rain front, we had a huge storm come through yesterday. Just like the day before, it split in half just prior to arriving. Lots of wind, lots of downed branches, but only a trace of rain.

    If we don't get any showers this afternoon, and that looks doubtful, I'll continue to haul around these water hoses. Thank goodness for well water, huh?

    Next week, I hope to make some trips to the store for more mulch. My brother is out of town, and I'm waiting for him to get back so we can use his truck.

    Did I mention that you could send some of that rain down this way? Whoops! I think I did....
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  15. #15
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    Ahhhh, we're none of us ever happy, are we.....I have been laying out soaker hoses and trying to set up a timer for watering while we are away and here Mother Nature is going overboard trying to help out. I would love to send some your way, wish we could dial up the proper storms and sunshine!!!

    I have been eating vine-ripened tomatos for 10 days, earliest I have ever had them....goes to show that if you start your plants in January, you might see the fruits a bit sooner than the middle of JULY around here!! Or, if you start them early, you too can watch them drown!! Oh well.

    Linda
    Linda

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