The perfect mulch

mulch raw materialNo really, it is the perfect mulch. It’s a combination of those ash branches that we brought down this month, pruned jostaberry and blackcurrant bushes from the soft fruit work; plus chestnut sticks, oak branches and any other random stick I find on the farm within walking distance.

It was quite a pile believe me. My pictured doesn’t do it justice.

And it took a whole winter’s day to reduce this enormous stick and branch fest into the perfect medium for my plants.

I needed to do it this week as I was finding it hard to climb over the piles to reach the stables and attend to matters mowing.  mulch close up

Now that this is done I can actually get the machine out and do the mowing for the very last time this season. (I think.)

But chipping first.  It would have broken my heart to have seen all that sterling weeding work in the soft fruit orchard turn into a new weedy eyesore.  It’s Christmas season and lots of guests will be ogling the space. I wanted it to look neat and complete. (Well, complete will be the red clover I sow over the bare bits, but that’s not happening until spring.)

What? Don’t you make all your friends come down and inspect your mulched beds and compost heaps?

mulch squaresFor those of you who are not in the area, here is the close up inspection.  It’s the mix that counts. So with all the different branches, some dead, some alive, plus a lot of leaves; I have a mulch that will break down slowly, be dense enough to hopefully suppress the weeds underneath, and improve the soil at the same time.

I’m showing off of course. It’s not perfect. Perfect would have been a mulch around the base of each plant a foot deep. I didn’t have enough for that.

In fact I came up just a bit short behind one of the huge jostaberry bushes. It was heartbreaking as the day’s light was fading to realise I was a bit thin in the last bag of chipped sticks.

But I ran out of raw materials. And my hands were tingling from all the vibrations of the sticks going into the chipper.  But I am so pleased that this year’s experiment on improving the look of the soft fruit orchard is almost complete.

mulch long view