Wanting to understand mulch


I hope that came thru as ribbing ya. Appreciate all that you do for the fruiting community.


I deserved it and could have worded my assertion better. We’re good!!


I have never used 2-4D in my peach or apple orchard but it is recommended in my state for use in the row middles on both crops. Six weeks before bloom on peaches and “at least two weeks before bloom” on apples. According to the orchard production manuals, the purpose of the 2-4D is to kill the weeds that provide a place for cat facing insects to hide in the row middles of the peaches. Also to kill the flowering weeds in the row middles of the apple trees that may attract bees to the weed flowers and provide cover for tarnished plant bugs


Yes Alan her studies seemed pretty much on target with my way of thinking in regards to soil organisms as far as anything else she does i dont know about. I know your already aware of the fungi ph relationship so i didnt bother to look a link up. You adjust ph if you see it drop though im not sure everyone understands those relationships to the extent you do. I suspect your soil never gets out of line because you correct the problem im bringing up in a different way through soil ammendments if needed. Your monitoring through ph levels. In the end we are both seeking that perfect soil through ph , organic content, and npk levels.


Clark, the thing I’m trying to stress is that OM is functionally pretty much OM once it breaks down to black with the significant difference being pH. The organic matter that is most convenient and ecological and least expensive being my preference. However, wood compost I have access to around here usually is at a pH in the low 6’s while yard waste compost seems to come in at over a point higher, in the mid 7’s. The yard compost is from leaves, and grass clippings mostly and the wood from chipped hardwood.

This means I can’t use the yard compost for blueberries but both seem to work well for tree and most vegetable species I grow.

I mulch with shredded wood, wood chips and hay and I admit to preferring the hay in the vegetable garden, but trees also seem to respond well to it and vegetables to shredded wood if I compensate with a bit of extra N (from pee pee). Both create a rich, nicely draining top soil over time- perhaps too rich for fruit trees.

If you actually have access ti some of the woman’s research, as opposed to lectures, please provide me with a link. What I came up with on the internet made me somewhat suspicious of her integrity but I’m not suggesting any verdict. I’m just used to scientists backing up statements with specific research.


where am at, wood chips = treasure.
native earth in the mojave desert is extremely hard, aeration and drainage are poor due to the soil’s compacting qualities, and ph is high due to high Calcium content. So i don’t just use wood chips for mulch, but also incorporate them into the soil. May cause nitrogen binding, but the benefits far outweigh the cons(besides, nitrogen could easily be added with other supplements).
wood is made of cellulose, and is in turn made of sugars. End-product of sugars when consumed by microbes are acids–the same reason dentists advise against sugary food, as acidic metabolites tear through the hardest calcium compounds.
wood chips also help aerate the soil, because it tends to expand, warp and twist as it absorbs moisture, and tends to reverse the process when it starts drying out. These ‘perpetual’ movements prevent the tenacious aggregating properties of caliche from settling and re-organizing-- and sealing off oxygen.
in michelangelo’s time, they harvested marble slabs by sawing through the ore in a strategic and economical way, and then letting the hydraulic properties of wood do the rest of the job simply by inserting pieces of dry wood into the cuts, and then stuffing with sawdust, etc and pouring water into the sponge of woody debris. The expansion of wood overnight will split it off the mother ore as as if it was wafer.


I just spread out some mulch that had been composting for a year. It was FULL of mycelia and nightcrawlers. I laughed thinking of the chumps spreadung treated mulch around their bradford pears.


I don’t think you misphrased it at all. We just culturally tend to struggle with the best admitting they are the best. I think your version of high density indoor growing is going to be a thing. It’s all about control and balance, and we’re getting better and better at recreation of pseudo natural environments.


I’ve noticed similar looking thready growths when turning over the horse manure I buy now and then from a local stable, good to know what they are.


Still love manure and woodchips when it comes to establishing new fruit trees. These are my 15 new loads of manure I stashed beside the blackberry patch for use in near future. Have a few large loads of woodchips from the power company.




I have wooded areas on my land and several years ago we had a drought that took out a lot of trees. some are still falling and some have laid on the shaded ground until they are crumbling. I wondered about using any of this stuff (rotted trees/leaves) for /mulch/compost but read somewhere that it would have a lot of disease in it? What says you guys? There is a lot of fungi around all over it.


In this area 5 bobcat bucketfuls cost me $25 with transportation and there are 15 of those $25 loads in this new pile. It should last me a little while but I already used 2 separate loads on the shed delivered by a dump truck. Those dump trucks hold 30 bucketfuls or 6 normal truckloads so I’ve exceeded my manure budget this year. It’s a great deal for what it is and I pull out of piles within a mile from me that are both beef and dairy farms. As long as it’s close by it’s worth the effort. Those numbers are off the top of my head I told you but I think they are accurate.


I would use it because they were not fruit trees that died.


I like stuff like that to loosen up my ground. Dad bought one of those leaf choppers this fall and made a huge pile of chopped oak leaves at his house that I plan on using in the spring on a garden spot


Looks like shit… :wink:


If they died immediately from drought I see no danger and very little in any case. Sometimes conifers weakened by drought die by way of beetle infestation, but once the dead wood has been broken down the beetles should be long gone. In the west there is the fungus that kills oaks and other trees that might be a problem, I don’t know. For that kind of info, I go to cooperative extension. Not all states run good programs but if yours does they will have regional info on specific diseases to be concerned about and probably know how long they remain in rotting wood. In my area I would use any rotting organic matter laying in the woods without fear.


What about woodchips/chicken manure. I clean out my chicken house periodically thru the winter, do you think it is too strong to apply on top of the snow under the fruit trees in my orchard?


Not at all. There are certain protocols to using manure on food crops, though, mostly involving time in the ground or in the compost heap. Make sure you have enough time before planting to add your chicken manure.


Fine for establishing trees but you may want to be careful once trees begin bearing fruit. Generally the trick to growing the best tasting fruit on productive trees is finding the Goldilocks zone of moderate vigor. Then again, even mulch made of pure wood can create excessive vigor over time as you create a thicker and thicker layer of black humus.

These problems affect growers that get rain during the growing and ripening season and every soil has its own dynamic. My soil is a sandy silt that drys out quickly, but after about 15 years of mulching heavily I began having a vigor problem that seems to have somewhat reduced the brix of my fruit, especially peaches and nects. Plums seem to get their sugar regardless.