Douglas Alpenstock wrote:Wally, there are no simple answers to this. Where are you located? What is your rainfall? How long is your frost free season?
I only mention this because in my dry, cold climate it takes 3+ years for green chips to start to break down on their own. I have grown impatient, and am taking aggressive measures to incorporate them into various other malodourous mixes, with a long soak and then application into growing zones.
But if you can get by without this labourious process, you're fortunate!
(Edited for spelling.)
Wally Jasper wrote:Thanks Redhawk. Will do. I only now saw that I replied to your reply to Douglas and saw the message about mushroom slurry. A couple of years ago I bought some Mycogrow from Paul Stametz. Would that serve the same function as the slurry? I used to when I was planting my fruit trees, pouring it around their roots. Still have some left.
Wally Jasper wrote:Hi Douglas, I live in the high and dry country of the US southwest. Not much rain but some winters see heavy snow. Last night we got a nice unexpected rain storm that dropped about half an inch. This morning I was again working on taking down my wood chip piles and spreading out the chips. What I saw convinced me that spreading them out is the way to go. The rain had only penetrated about a half inch down; the whole pile below that was bone dry. The chips I had spread out were nice and soggy. I also checked under the chips to see what the soil got, and it was wet underneath too. I'm spreading the chips not as thick as I did at first, because I want the ground to get water. So I think this way the chips will help hold the water in the soil better, rather than leave it open to evaporation. (I also covered the chips with a layer of partially composted pine needles. On other areas I laid down the pine needles first and covered with the chips. So I'm experimenting to see which way works best.) What do you think of all this?
Wally Jasper wrote:Cecile, my soil is clay. What I have found is that it turns into a beautiful rich soil when lots of organic material is added and mixed in and watered. After one year I was thrilled to see earthworms in the newly conditioned soil. Many thanks for all your advice and help. I see your zip code is in northern Wisconsin. Yeah, I bet your hardiness zone is a 4b, way up there. How the heck did you get a persimmon to grow there? Is it inside your house? (Or are persimmons a lot hardier than I thought they were?)
Wally Jasper wrote:Hi Douglas, I live in the high and dry country of the US southwest. Not much rain but some winters see heavy snow. Last night we got a nice unexpected rain storm that dropped about half an inch. This morning I was again working on taking down my wood chip piles and spreading out the chips. What I saw convinced me that spreading them out is the way to go. The rain had only penetrated about a half inch down; the whole pile below that was bone dry. The chips I had spread out were nice and soggy. ... What do you think of all this?
Wally Jasper wrote:Good to know that. Will save the mycogrow for more plantings. As for mushroom slurry, there are no wild mushrooms around right now. We've had a "nonsoon" summer instead of our expected summer monsoons. So I'll have to buy the mushrooms. And the challenge will be to keep myself from eating them instead of blending them up and throwing them on the ground. I assure you that will be a very big challenge.
Anne Pratt wrote:So lovely to come back to read this thread again, having checked in before, and before that 4 years ago! I'm on a new property this year and have two large deliveries slowly being spread where needed. In the coop, on prospective gardens, surrounding the raised beds, and in two winecap-specific areas in the shade. The limiting factor is my physical ability: I just turned 70, and have a limited number of wheelbarrow loads each day, not to mention the mowing and gardening. (The housework is a distant third, very distant!). I do realize that when I get the gardens up to size, I will have much less lawn to mow, which is all to the good.
I have trouble with clay soil in a low-lying front yard. There is a shallow pond on the lawn much of the winter, and it flooded again in spring, and again recently. I need to pile those chips high. Trying to find plants that will be happy with occasional standing water, and will live through a drought (most of June) is quite a challenge.
Bryant, thanks for your patience in answering SO many questions! Your advice is always valuable, and is a major reason why I have just read this entire thread again.
Hau Anne, I would fill those depressions with chips then pour on some mushroom slurries, that will jump start the chips turning into soil. Fill the depressions anytime the chips seem low. (I have 3 tree root ball holes I'm doing this to, they started out 4 ft. deep and are now only about a foot below the grade. It's taken 3 years to fill in 3 ft. of those pits.