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Flatish Rocks as mulch  RSS feed

 
Posts: 166
Location: Yucatan Puebla Ontario BC
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Rocks can be pulled from deeper in the soil and placed on top around plants. This method works well with perennials, If I kill half the weeds near a crop plant with a rock than the plant is sure to survive at the least. Rocks on the surface also stop evaporation.
 
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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They can also collect dew overnight, and feed it to the soil in the morning.

 
Posts: 86
Location: Durham region - Ontario, Canada - Zone 5
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I can't quantify how much of an impact colour would have but I'm sure there's bound to be a component. i.e. choose dark rocks for 'hot' plants like peppers and use the rest where it doesn't matter so much. Thoughts?
 
Posts: 6494
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Our local armadillos like to nose around the things that I have just watered so I use rocks as mulch around more delicate plantings.
Most of our rocks are pale and seem to keep the soil cool and moist no matter how hot the rocks surface gets from the sun.
 
Jeffrey Hodgins
Posts: 166
Location: Yucatan Puebla Ontario BC
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Conveniently for me in Puebla where I need hot rocks the rocks are black and in Yucatan where I need cold rocks the rocks are greyish white.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1585
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I do it too, but it is a little bit of a problem when you want to plant or sow around the perenial...
And where i put the stones on top, well, the year after, its a little messy, as I use it also for annuals (tomatoes).
I also put the stone around the cut plastic bottles that prevent lizards for eating all!
(or the wind might be so friendly with lizards!)


This is used in the south of France for sowing the little spelt. Stones occur naturally in the fields, and this spelt needs 11 months in the field.
People here say it's good to have stones even underground, for preventing evaporation.

I read a document about dry earth being a good mulch too...
(if it is loose with no capilarity)
And about weeds giving shade but being a bad mulch, as water evaporates through them!!!
 
Posts: 35
Location: Southern Kentucky near Glasgow
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I was looking into the "Back to Eden" method of very heavy mulching gardens and orchards they were also talking about the benefit of having stones in the soil. There are so many "truths" in this world we must unlearn especially from industrial agriculture.



http://backtoedenfilm.com/how_to/index.html



 
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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find a good, local, lichen to put on those rocks too !

you can mix some up in a milk bath, let it grow a couple days, then spray it out on them.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Posts: 1585
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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By the way, I also use little stones in pots with little plants!
- Easier to water them without holes in the pot mix...
(I mean with the fast method to water!)
- Less evaporation for the little roots, as they are shallow.
 
Posts: 14
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does anybody know the average amount of water an X sized rock can help retain in the soil
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1585
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I guess even no one knows how much water there is in one's own soil...
It also depends on the depth of the soil, and its quality (humus is best)
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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one of the southern Cali universities did a study in the salton sea area.

rocks worked better than than organic mulch in the desert.

don't think they did actual measurements of soil moisture, just plant survival.
 
Posts: 1121
Location: Central Wyoming -zone 4
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i think rocks are a neccesity in every system, different placement and uses in different systems, but i'd say nessacary

in my cheyenne property where i am trying to to maximize winter ehat gain and deflect some of the heat in the summer, i plan to have darker colored rocks on southfacing slopes and south sides of rock piles, and lighter colored rocks on the north facing slopes and north side of rock piles, that way during the hotter summer months the whiter rocks deflect more heat and reflect more radiation, rather than absorb it, and during the winter months, the darker rocks take the most direct radiation and capture the most heat

the dew and condensate fact is a great thing to consider with rocks

flat rocks will likely capture more mid-day heat while reflecting more of the early mornign and late evening temps but will slow water the most and spread it more when it comes down as well as give good habitat for cooler-blooded predators and such

kinda kicking myself off the internet for the night but yeah - rocks ROCK!
 
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