More mulching

What? Do you honestly think I’ve done anything but spread mulch in the past few days? And write out lists of where I want to spread my gold?

Or as Lisa put it: ‘have you come down from your BRF high yet?’

In France (and Canada) the magic letters BRF stand for bois raméal fragmenté. And that is exactly what I have. Mulch. Fresh chipped sticks. A mix of oak, chestnut, ash and pine.

A lovely combination and I have it in threes.  Yes, the lads delivered two extra loads before they knocked off work on Friday afternoon. I could hear the sound of the trucks’ tyres spinning on our steep access road when I was knee-deep in another pile.  They got stuck trying to deliver load number two up at the top of the farm, so I set up a tarp right beside the main road to try and tempt them to deliver.

And I have never smelt a more dramatic sharp smell that the mixed pine chippings in among the woody chips.  Maybe that is what is making me a bit high.

It’s utter bliss.

I have concentrated most of Friday doing the top potager.  I have quite a routine now.  And as long as I don’t try and count how many trips I take, it’s rather pleasant work.

Half fill 18 sacks of mulch into the Ikea bags. Shove them in the car. Drive the car along the road to the potager. Unload. Drag uphill to the garden. Tip onto ground.

Spread, inhale, bag up the empty sacks, return them to the car, reverse madly up the track. Repeat.



I am using the pine chippings for paths, and the chunkier fresher chestnut and oak for areas closer to the crops. So I am not as worried about the potential for the nitrogen robbing action of this fresh mulch. It would have been better laying this stuff down in October, before winter. But believe me, this gift is not being rejected.

Actually I won’t be using the whole of this potager this year. It’s the overflow vegetable garden and it gets a bit abandoned. I only use it for asparagus, brassicas and potatoes. So the mulch should do to suppress the weeds and I can have a better garden next year.

And the permaculture bed won’t really be productive this season because it’s brand new and needs to settle. So I smothered it in a thick, thick mulch and hope not to have to battle weeds while it beds in.

I have another 18 or so sacks to use on this top potager to be a completist. But I realized that I needed to work on lowering the level of mulch down by the road.

It’s more of an eyesore, and I decided to save my sciatic back by not dragging the sacks uphill to this distant part of the garden.

So I spent most of Saturday working on the soft fruit orchard and the lower permaculture bed.  It’s a flat drag from the back of the car to that particular garden and much kinder on the back.

At one point Jean Daniel drove down the road and took one look at me madly filling my bags from the very top of heap and said ‘you look like a kid playing in a sand pit.’  And it’s so true.  The heap is actually quite warm, so I want to work fast to get the mulch onto the garden rather than fermenting on the tarpaulin.

No pictures of that to show you. I finished in the dark. But no doubt next week you will be delighted by yet more beige and shots of lovely thick weed suppressing mulch. Bet you can’t wait.