Saturday, July 28, 2012

For years I've fought against and complained about invasive suckers from the big one in the yard east of me popping up all over my yard. But after an experiment I now see these suckers as an on-site source of soil-cooling biomass. A papaya struggled in my oven-like west bed despite a few inches of oak leaves plus getting my daily gallon of shower water. One day I touched the oak leaf mulch...that brown color made it a solar collector and it was HOT to the touch! So I applied maybe 8 inches of overlapping paper mulberry branches, each 3-4 feet long...within a DAY the papaya ceased its usual afternoon wilt, and the soil beneath the branches was cool to the touch even after the mulberry leaves died and fell off. So today, I will plant more peanuts in the south half of that bed now free of pots and clutter and boasting self sown "Clay" cow peas and cover the whole area with branches from a sizable paper mulberry sucker that popped up in the center garden where many of my Muscovy ducks like. Two more closer to the house will let me deeply mulch the north end of that bed once I clear IT of pots and clutter. Waste not want not!! John

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