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Mulching and fertilizing

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by debg on July 26, 2006 01:54 PM
Hi there.
I'm new to this forum.
My specific question is about mulch. We recently placed mulch on all of our beds. We were told by the farm that delivered it and put it down that when we fertilize next, we need to separate the mulch, sprinkle it, and cover it up - so that it goes into the soil. What? We've never done that before. We've always sprinkled or sprayed it on top. We have used products like Miracle-Gro but are currently using Milorganite. This seems totally impractical as our beds are massive.
Can anyone help?
by rogmee on July 26, 2006 03:15 PM
I would go ahead and sprinkle as you are used to doing.

Fertilizer can be added to a compost pile to make the pile heat up. A couple of inches of mulch (you didn't say what kind) is not a compost pile and I don't think you'll see any adverse effect.
by gardenfairy on July 26, 2006 03:59 PM
I use Miracle Gro that you dissolve in water and just water thru the mulch and my plants are growing great.

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"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."

God gave us memories so we can have roses in the winter.
by luis_pr on July 26, 2006 04:36 PM
Some people who utilize slow-release organic fertilizers do what you describe. They remove the mulch from under the plant, they water, they apply fertilizer, water again and finally, they re-apply mulch. The reason is that organic fertilizers need bacteria to break them down and, being under the mulch, in a moist environment, would decompose the fertilizer faster than by just throwing it on top of the mulch.

Besides, some organic meals tend to pile up and form a 'cake' if thrown on top of mulch that does not get watered often. Like in the case of drip irrigation users. For example, drip irrigation users who grow lots of roses and who fertilize with organic ammendments, would probably benefit from this procedure since those shrubs are heavy feeders and drip irrigation does not water the mulch.

I tried this method before. One plus was that it was easy to notice when mulch had decomposed & when more mulch was needed. A big minus was that it has too many steps and it took a long time to do. My solution was to modify the process to do the same step on all bushes in the house, then do the next step on all the bushes and so forth until done.

But really, as long as you provide the amount of fertilizer needed by the plant, with either method you should be fine. Just remember to water, fertilize and then water again.

by obywan59 on July 26, 2006 05:56 PM
I don't bother scraping the mulch away. I just sprinkle my organic fertilizer around the plants on top of the mulch. I get sufficient rains to water the fertilizer in, but overhead water sprinklers would be beneficial also.

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May the force be with you
by tkhooper on July 27, 2006 12:15 AM
Thanks for the information. My church is considering putting in drip irrigation. So I really appreciate knowing this about the change in fertilizer practice.

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