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Re: Define mulch first: RE: E-M:/ tires for mulch?



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Enviro-Mich message from Barbara Jean Madsen <bjmadsen@umich.edu>
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I have to disagree in part with Lowell's posting.  Most people use mulch,
and consider its purpose, to be entirely that of preventing weeds and
maintaining soil moisture.  This is especially true for landscaping
applications (as opposed to vegetable gardens), and especially for large
commercial landscapes and landscapers.  Most of the plants that are
mulched under these conditions are chemically fertilized, anyway, so
people are not concerned about the carbon/nitrogen balance of the mulch
and soil.  Compost is an ideal growing medium, so although it is a
fabulous soil amendment, it tends not to be all that effective as a
weed-preventing mulch.  It also breaks down much more quickly than
materials like wood chips.  Lowell is right, though, that something like
wood chips blended with a nitrogen source like grass clippings solves both
problems.

Lowell also makes an excellent point about the tendency of all mulching
materials to "escape".  If tires are used for mulch, they will certainly
end up all over the landscape.

	--Barb Madsen


On Fri, 21 Feb 2003, Lowell Prag wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> What this discussion ignores is the purpose of mulch. The main thing
> is to use something that will feed the plants and trees, in addition
> to suppressing weeds and helping to maintain moisture in the soil.
>
> For that, compost is best, not shredded rubber from tires.
>
> A note in passing:
>
> wood chips and other such materials that are high in carbon, are also not
> good for mulch unless certain precautions are taken, as the naturally
> occurring bacteria which will then proceed to compost the mulch material,
> need nitrogen to do so and since the material is high in carbon not
> nitrogen, the bacteria end up taking the nitrogen from the soil which in
> turn is not good, as the plants and trees need this nitrogen for growth.
>
> Hence, if one uses wood chips and other high carbon materials, a nitrogen
> source should also be added to the mulch, like grass clippings, etc. as
> otherwise, you will stunt your plants and trees during the time that it
> takes for the mulch to compost.
>
> Last, in addition to the fact that shredded rubber does not feed the
> plants and trees, over time, it will get spread throughout ones garden,
> jammed in lawn mowers, washed down to side walks and then into sewers and
> water treatment plants, etc.
>
> Conclusion:
>
> I cannot imagine why someone would use shredded rubber for mulch.
>
> Lowell Prag
>
>
>
>
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