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Keith shares thoughts on mulch

Q: My wife says I need to pull back the mulch from plants when I fertilize. Is this necessary?

A:    It is not necessary to pull back mulch from plants when feeding them. The fertilizer breaks down into solution when contact with water is made, Some ions can be absorbed by the mulch so a little extra fertilizer can be given to compensate for this.

Q:   I saw a yard that was mulched with pine straw and I liked the look of it. How does it compare to using cypress mulch?

A:    Pine straw tends to be less expensive and requires less labor to install it. The pine straw is a by-product while cypress is usually cut just to be shredded for mulch. Both need to be applied manually and the cypress will hold up better in areas with foot traffic. It is more environmentally friendly to use a pine product as a mulch.

Q:    I garden organically. I usually use horse manure as fertilizer. I know that nitrogen will give quick spring growth. What is an organic source of nitrogen?

A:  Blood meal has more nitrogen than manure so give it a try in your garden.

Q:    If I use manure as opposed to 6-6-6 when fertilizing are there any differences to be aware of?

A:    The formulation of manure can be around 2-1-2 so it will be less potent. If using it in feeding, apply more of it or apply it more often than you would the 6-6-6 fertilizer.



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