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Lavender ok as mulch?

 
                      
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Ok I finished building the anti-dog fence and finished planting. Alot of the mulch I have is dry lavender which grows like crazy here, is it ok to use as mulch? Are there any plants in general that make bad mulch? I'll post photos soon..
 
Leah Sattler
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I think it would be fine! the only possible issue that comes to mind for me would be the estrogenic properties. I think you would have to use alot of lavender to have any issues with that. sure would smell nice!
 
Brenda Groth
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i imagine for those that love the smell of lavender it is a great mulch..i really don't know much about lavender..try researching it as a google search..lavender as mulch and see what you come up with

I'm not going to ..cause this isn't the right forum...but you have no idea how badly I want to ask how well the obama speech was accepted in Israel..

dang but i won't ask..

personally I hated it

forget i asked
 
Leah Sattler
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it would be neat to get a real insiders view and not just the media take.

so does lavender grow wild there? Near my old house there is an area known for lavendar and wine. it is an area similiar soil wise as here and I wondered if it this area would happily support both also. what is the geography like there? rocky?
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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Leah, I have killed off most of my lavender.

I went to the GardenWeb forum and asked what I was doing wrong.  the answer was "practically everything".

The #1 Rule for Lavender:  The More Neglect, the Better.

Overwatering is the big no-no.  Next is too much nitrogen, as it's almost like a poison to them.

They need sandy, well-drained soil (rocky is good, too), maybe a little well-composed cow manure and a bit of bone meal in the fall, and that's it.  Prune off the top 1/3 or so after flowering to keep them bushy.

Sue
 
                      
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hey i'm still here, i'll take photos soon i'm sorry. don't know what to say about obama, personally i hope he will stand behind what he says and seriously threaten to stop american support if building settlements don't stop, along with other  steps to peace israel has to make.

Susan does the same apply to cloning lavender, or should clones get lots of water? i am cloning rosemary, lavender, sage and zaatar (marjoram??..) right now and i think they need similar conditions.
 
Susan Monroe
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Some people say lavender and rosemary are easy, and to start them in sand, which helps to prevent overwatering, and sage is probably the same, not sure of marjoram.  But you still have to keep them somewhat moist in the sand, so they don't dry out, so you can't just ignore them.

I have some forgotten, neglected lavender that is doing quite well.  I hardly ever remember to water it, never feed it, and it looks okay.  It isn't great, but it's alive, which is more than I can say for the others.

You could take more cuttings than you need and try several ways and treatments, and see what works best in your local environment.  Let us know!

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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I tried to do cuttings from lavender a few years ago from a plant my husbands grandmother had. They started off ok, I thought they were ready to transplant so I did so and they croaked. I wonder if it was because I transplanted them and then thought I would keep them "well watered"
to help them get established. I'm a dummy.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I overwatered some lavender, too.  Probably overfed it as well.  So I guess we're all stupid together.

I have had some really good lavender ice cream.

Wikipedia seems to think za'atar is oregano, though wild hyssop and marjoram are two other candidates.

from Google: Apparently lavender mulch repels insects and molluscs, but lavender plants themselves sometimes die if the soil they grow in is covered in mulch.
 
                      
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i found an answer on an israeli permaculture forum (though not specific to these plants). the guy showed a way where he has a box full of wood clippings in which he places small cups with the cuttings. he waters the wood clippings and covers everything with plastic to keep everything moist inside. i'm trying this now.
 
rose macaskie
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Yaniz i am glad you are an israeli who would like Obama to withdraw his support if israelis don't behave themselves with moderation. For me israel is very problematic bought up post world war two when people who were enthusiatic about jews were very verbal about it after the so horrible events of the war, i was brought up to feel really enthusiastic about Israel,  my mother was enthusiastic about it and the people i knew, the ones that talked about israel were enthusiastic about you having a home, and about your fight with the desert and with your kibbutzes. The headmistress of the school i went to a nun left the convent to solve the problems betweeen the jews and the arabs. Before leaving the convent, she used to took sixth formers off on holidays in israel and jordan, strange woman, it was said she new the king of jordan and that president of yours with a patch, and she had a long hat pin in her wimple to kill over savage arabs with. She taught us about israel. It was my mother and this nuns  enthusiasm i was brought up with i spent my summer holidays in a kibbutz which is cheap as it is a working holiday when i was ninteen that was how i met my first spaniard and now some things make one a bit anti some bits of Israeli behavior.
  I was looking up leaves absorbing humidity from the air or dew, trying to find out more reason to explain the survival of plants in arid situacions and i did find something from Israel on the subject, it is a bit of research i have not gone back to for a while.

Susan Munroes and Polyparadigms research has really let me know more about lavender. lots of cactuses crumple up and die with nitrogen as susan munroe says lavender does. rose macaskie.
 
Nick Ritar
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Location: Meliodora, Hepburn, Victoria, Australia
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I have about half an acre under lavender and use most of the dried stems (left over after harvesting the flowers) as the carbon input to our compost toilet.

I have tried making compost with them, and find that it's hard to get a nice warm heap. Quite a strong antibacterial effect. But once the heap matures, it produces a lot of fungal activity (confirmed under microscope).

I imagine it would make a great mulch under woody stemmed plants, but everything in moderation.

 
rose macaskie
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Is it easy to use a microscope, do you need a good one?  i have never used one except one my children were given and i did not manage to see anything through it but i did not give much time to it. rose
 
Nick Ritar
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Location: Meliodora, Hepburn, Victoria, Australia
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Microscope work needs a bit of training. Our scope is a $600 binocular model powerful enough to see individual soil bacteria. Not sure if it's worth it for the average farmer/gardener, but it has a high cool factor
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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A decent microscope can be built with lenses from a disposable camera:

http://www.funsci.com/fun3_en/ucomp1/ucomp1.htm

From the article:


It is our experience that so called "toy microscopes" are a real disaster because they commonly give little more than diffuse images or shadows. This can cause a young person to lose all interest in these instruments.


This agrees well with Rose's experience.

The same team has developed plans for a glass sphere microscope, which can be built from raw materials with no tools more complicated than a torch...to my mind, a more robust sort of design in the very long term.
 
rose macaskie
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As there are people who doubt the efficiency of organic or permaculture would not a way to talk about the different elements in a good soil that help plants grow better, mycorrhizae bacteria and humus with fotos from microscopes.
    It is easier for people to do things they understand. If everyone understands about good soils from a scientific point of view wont it help extend good soils.
      Don't people like herbicides and pesticides in part because they are sophisticated. Lots of people like the sophisticated. For some  the cool value is fringe and for others anything scientific like synthetic and factory, machine and of course the two can mix, sophisticated and fringe. Permaculture and organic really are scientific good soil could not be understood as we understand it now without scientist could it? agri rose macaskie.

 
Leah Sattler
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Milkwood Nick wrote:
Microscope work needs a bit of training. Our scope is a $600 binocular model powerful enough to see individual soil bacteria. Not sure if it's worth it for the average farmer/gardener, but it has a high cool factor


very high cool factor! I'm jealous I just have a little dinky cheapish one for fecals on the critters.  even that one is fun to spend and afternoon just looking at stuff!
 
rose macaskie
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  I meant to say that a way to help people understand soil science, to understand about all the usefull things in good soil that get killed by chemical nitrogen and with pesticides and herbicides, would be with photos of soil microbes and things taken with a microscope. I missed out the "be" in, a usefull thing would be, and the sentence made no sense. I have never been able to write a sentence without a mistake in it.
  Normal chemicals fertilisers only put in the nitrogen and phosforos and potasio and a few trace elements into soils and there are a lots of things scientist have found to be important in soils that chemical fertilisers don't put in and not only that, but chemical nutrients burn some of the usefull microbes and fungi in the soil they are too strong for them and they don't add humus and plants need humus and fungi if they're to grow really big. th eroots of fungi, micelium, hypha, behave like pipes of the water board, distributing water all over the field and lighten and aerate the soil and collect minerals and water for plants. They are better at picking up water and minerals than plant roots are, plants give them elaborated foods like sugars.
  Fungi and plants also produce enzmes and acids to digest the soil particles, they do exo-digestion. Fertilisers don't produce enzymes and acids that are useful in the soil unless you buy very fancy fertilisers.

  The end product of the break down of organica matter is humus, of the scientists type humus, not the type you buy normally for your garden, that is half broken down organic matter. This sort of humus is a fine dust that can be very stable and last more than a thousand years though as its very light can easily get blown away,and as it has carbon in it, is a sink for carbon.
      It helps minerals take forms that are more easily absorbable for plants. I am not a chemist but atoms combine with other atoms in different ways that change their natureand their usefullness. For instance, nitrogen can be paart of an amonia molecule, which is a molecule of one nitrogen atom and 4 hydrogen. I am not a chemist thats how i interpret the letters and numbers "NH4 +" which is amonia, which eaten by bacteria and such becomes "nitrites" NO2, nitrogen and 2 oxygens, that further eaten by bacteria and such becomes "nitrates" NO3, niutrogen and 3 oxygens, that plants can eat, absorbeand need to eat. Humus is good at helping with these chemical changes and so it is important in the soil and not present in traditional chemical fertilisers.

    Humus as scientist understand the word also behaves like gelatines absorbing and retaining lots of water and the minerals dissolved in it. Important in dry places, were they need more humidity in the soil. Also it is slightly acid improving the PH of soils.

      You can buy humic acids for plants but they're a pretty fancy type of fertiliser not your normal, traditional, brutal farming stuff, that became popular before they understood all the different positive aspects of soil instead of just one or two of them. You can look it up in the sight of the people that sell fertilisers for sustainable and biological agriculture. TNN industries, Acheiving Excellence in Sustainable and Biological Agriculture-tnn.com.au/_general0/0201nformation.asp they have pages on it. fisrt a mention on one page and then lots of metions a bit further on.

  If you go to a shop for growing marihuana, legal here, though its not legal to deal in it, you can buy microbes to improve your soil. I did and really freaked myself out. At first i felt really cool and then i thought, "gosh i am going to give myself some terrible illness". I poured water full of microbes and fungi spores, though microbes can anhililate your fungi but i did not know it, on my garden, till i got too freaked out with doubts about unguarranted hippy products. Apparently many of these products come from Canada.  They sell microrrhiziae fungi for the roots of plants and fertilisers with amino acids in them. I am not a saint but i have never grown marijauna but i have found out that stores for marihuana growers have really sophisticated fertilisers.
    The man in the shop said there is a lot of money in it, thats why they have expensive and good fertilisers.

    They had empty cans of humic acid by the banana plantations, the main crop of the Canary islands. So farmers can buy humic acids. They were growing bananas on practically new volcanic soil.

    Masanubo Fukuokas rice was not just healthy and hippy, it was the rice that produced more than the rice of any other farmer, with bigger grains and more grains a head.  He was a soil scientist and plant pathologist. 
 
      I bet the black dust of the dust bowl was humus, of the sort scientist refer to when they use the word, accumulated in the days before the plough touched american soils. That woud explain why the dust clouds were so dense and black and so fine that they got through all sorts of barriers. Putting a handkerchief in front of your mouth didnot stop the dust.
      Put the words "dust bowl" in google. agri rose macaskie.
 
Leif Kravis
Posts: 78
Location: Toronto Canada
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i'm pretty sure the Zattar i used when working in the emirates was Summer Savory, are you sure it's Marjoram? just curious.
 
                    
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Zaatar is a variable blend of spices, kinda like the term 'curry'.
 
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