The best mulch for soils

broad beansDidn’t you know it was Internation Mulch Your Soil Week? Of course not, I just made it up.  But you are being subjected to an awful lot of beige this week.

Plus endless, endless stories about leaves and sticks. Sorry folks, it is about to continue. And then I’ll stop being a beige bore.

I had actually planned a bit of planting: I want to sow some broad beans in the potager.

I have a sack of Aquadulce Claudia which need sowing.  They are mostly wintersticks 1 hardy.

But two things prevented me. First of all we are having proper winter weather at last. Minus 2C overnight and I don’t think it will climb higher than plus 2C in the day.  So it really isn’t the moment to want to shove fingers in soil and get some broad beans going.

The other reason for not doing it is I have forgotten where I ought to sow them.  There’s crop rotation, there’s seventeen garden beds here in the potager. And there is a poor memory.  I can’t find my notes on where I need to plant the beans next.  I thought they are stuck on my notice board here in the office, but I guess I moved it somewhere and now it is hiding.

sticks 2So instead I zipped up to the potager for Plan B.

Planting the broad beans in root trainers.  They’ll be fine in the slightly warmer shed. Sunny, but cold.

When the sun did eventually creep over the mountain and I realized that Artur was never going to show up and demand attention, I headed down to the stables.

I’ve been stock piling some sticks in the past month. Not an enormous amount, but enough to keep me out of trouble for the morning.

brfvsleavesIt’s warming work dragging them on the tarp down the mountain.  Here are the last bits of the cherry from beside the gite, and random oak and chestnut sticks from the forest.

And here is the lucky winner of the where do I put this marvellously mulching material – the potager.

The very top edge where the verbena bonariensis grows.

I just packed it on top of the leaves to make a super warm duvet of mulch.

But vexingly, I didn’t have enough to cover the entire area. Hate that. It means I can’t tick it off my list.

I could have had a rpotagermulchverticalush of blood and marched off into the forest and cut more.  But it’s time consuming work.

And my fingers were freezing, even inside thick leather gloves.  I already had to nip indoors twice for hot cups of tea just to fill three bags of the chipped sticks.

If I do chip more sticks, I promise not to write anything about it. You are well and truly mulched out.

But cold weather might mean I have to do indoor tasks for a bit. I shall ponder my page long list and see if I can come up with anything.