To Mulch or Not To Mulch - Why Wouldn't You?

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To Mulch or Not To Mulch - Why Wouldn't You?

Post by law.. » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00



Hi!

We just purchased a mower which mulches, or you can choose not to much,
and have a side discharge.

My question is, why would anyone ever choose *not* to mulch??

       [Note: my email address is the above username, at netcomdotcom]
--
              I am:  mom, attorney, professor, advocate for fathers
                          http://www.parentinglaw.com
                  Actually, I'm a lawyer -and- I play one on tv.

 
 
 

To Mulch or Not To Mulch - Why Wouldn't You?

Post by Jenn or John Ridl » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

>We just purchased a mower which mulches, or you can choose not to much,
>and have a side discharge.

>My question is, why would anyone ever choose *not* to mulch??

When it's been raining for two or three weeks (or more) and the grass
is sooooo thick and heavy that the mower bogs down when you're *not*
mulching?  

Using the mulcher would only a) bog the mower down even more; and
b)leave blobs of half-mulched grass clippings on top of the lawn that
are even harder to rake up than the plain clippings would be.

Jenn (who remembers days like that...)

---
USDA Zone 5, inland lower Michigan
Jenn Ridley

 
 
 

To Mulch or Not To Mulch - Why Wouldn't You?

Post by (Alexander Miller » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

>My question is, why would anyone ever choose *not* to mulch??

(a lawn)

In my case because I want the clippings for compost, which goes on my
veggie beds, which I value much higher than the lawn.

But then I'm not a lawyer or on TV :-))

Alexander Miller, Port Alberni B.C. Canada


 
 
 

To Mulch or Not To Mulch - Why Wouldn't You?

Post by Paul » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Hi,

If your mower only does mulching or side discharge, then mulch by all
means. Side discharge can create a thicker layer of thatch before it
breaks down. Plus it would look better to mulch.

I know someone will find something wrong with this next statement. If
you do mulch and you get clumps of grass, then when your finished, recut
the grass but in the oppisite direction and it will get rid of the
clumps. I know, more air polution!

Quote:

> Hi!

> We just purchased a mower which mulches, or you can choose not to much,
> and have a side discharge.

> My question is, why would anyone ever choose *not* to mulch??

>        [Note: my email address is the above username, at netcomdotcom]
> --
>               I am:  mom, attorney, professor, advocate for fathers
>                           http://www.parentinglaw.com
>                   Actually, I'm a lawyer -and- I play one on tv.

 
 
 

To Mulch or Not To Mulch - Why Wouldn't You?

Post by Brewmeiste » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00


To break any clumps up, you can go over them with a broom - the sweeping
motion breaks them up.  I know it sounds kind of funny, but it works.

HTH

Quote:

>Hi,

>If your mower only does mulching or side discharge, then mulch by all
>means. Side discharge can create a thicker layer of thatch before it
>breaks down. Plus it would look better to mulch.

>I know someone will find something wrong with this next statement. If
>you do mulch and you get clumps of grass, then when your finished, recut
>the grass but in the oppisite direction and it will get rid of the
>clumps. I know, more air polution!


>> Hi!

>> We just purchased a mower which mulches, or you can choose not to much,
>> and have a side discharge.

>> My question is, why would anyone ever choose *not* to mulch??

>>        [Note: my email address is the above username, at netcomdotcom]
>> --
>>               I am:  mom, attorney, professor, advocate for fathers
>>                           http://www.parentinglaw.com
>>                   Actually, I'm a lawyer -and- I play one on tv.

 
 
 

To Mulch or Not To Mulch - Why Wouldn't You?

Post by G030901 » Mon, 07 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Quote:
>My question is, why would anyone ever choose *not* to mulch??

Just anecdotal, of course...
In some areas (climates) mulching simply doesn't work as well as it's
(theoretically) supposed to.  In CO, for example (arid, arid, ARID) we've found
that there isn't enough moisture to decompose KY bluegrass clippings fast
enough--they just turn brown & accumulate on the lawn, to the detriment of
otherwise healthy grass.  We bought a bagging attachment for our mulching mower
& now use it 95% of the time (the clippings go in the compost bin); once or
twice a summer, however,  we detach the bag and let the mulching feature do its
thing.

JG

 
 
 

To Mulch or Not To Mulch - Why Wouldn't You?

Post by Pat Kiewi » Thu, 10 Sep 1998 04:00:00



Quote:

>To break any clumps up, you can go over them with a broom - the sweeping
>motion breaks them up.  I know it sounds kind of funny, but it works.

Now I know I'm not the only one who's ever broomed their lawn!  (My
neighbors have come to expect a certain amount of eccentricity from
me, but they also usually take a good look at the lawn and Garden
when they go by.)

--
Pat in Plymouth MI
NOTICE!! To hit my personal mailbox, please put the letter 'p' in front of
the 'kiewicz' when replying by e-mail.  

 
 
 

To Mulch or Not To Mulch - Why Wouldn't You?

Post by JFR » Fri, 11 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

> To break any clumps up, you can go over them with a broom - the sweeping
> motion breaks them up.  I know it sounds kind of funny, but it works.

> HTH


> >Hi,

> >If your mower only does mulching or side discharge, then mulch by all
> >means. Side discharge can create a thicker layer of thatch before it
> >breaks down. Plus it would look better to mulch.

> >I know someone will find something wrong with this next statement. If
> >you do mulch and you get clumps of grass, then when your finished, recut
> >the grass but in the oppisite direction and it will get rid of the
> >clumps. I know, more air polution!


> >> Hi!

> >> We just purchased a mower which mulches, or you can choose not to much,
> >> and have a side discharge.

> >> My question is, why would anyone ever choose *not* to mulch??

Simple:  some plants, e.g. ones that need good drainage and prefer rocky
"poor" soil can get crown/root rot diseases by having a high
concentration of organic material near their root system.  The drainage
may become less in this case as well.  

Slugs, pillbugs etc can also be encouraged by the presence of organic
mulch.  So, the holy grail of "mulching is always a great idea"  -
especially organic mulches - should be viewed with Caution.  I think
this mulch mania can sometimes get overblown.  Nothing works to improve
conditions in all cases; it just ain't that simple.  Sure, it helps in
most cases, but be careful, don't run with scissors.

John R> z8b Austin

 
 
 

To Mulch or Not To Mulch - Why Wouldn't You?

Post by el.. » Sat, 12 Sep 1998 04:00:00


<snip>

Quote:
>Simple:  some plants, e.g. ones that need good drainage and prefer rocky
>"poor" soil can get crown/root rot diseases by having a high
>concentration of organic material near their root system.  The drainage
>may become less in this case as well.  

>Slugs, pillbugs etc can also be encouraged by the presence of organic
>mulch.  So, the holy grail of "mulching is always a great idea"  -
>especially organic mulches - should be viewed with Caution.  I think
>this mulch mania can sometimes get overblown.  Nothing works to improve
>conditions in all cases; it just ain't that simple.  Sure, it helps in
>most cases, but be careful, don't run with scissors.

Funny you should say that. I have a stone mulch -- I've found that
it makes it easier to control slugs and fungus diseases in roses.
And I haven't noticed any downside (except that it's a PITA to
clear the stones away when I want to plant or dig ;) ).
 
 
 

To Mulch or Not To Mulch - Why Wouldn't You?

Post by Karen Paulse » Sat, 12 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Quote:


>>To break any clumps up, you can go over them with a broom - the sweeping
>>motion breaks them up.  I know it sounds kind of funny, but it works.

>Now I know I'm not the only one who's ever broomed their lawn!  (My
>neighbors have come to expect a certain amount of eccentricity from
>me, but they also usually take a good look at the lawn and garden
>when they go by.)

I 'imported' some soil, when I needed to fill in around a drive way I
just fixed up. The imported soil sprouted tons of foxtail, aka as the
'up-dog-nose-$100-vet-bill-weed". One of my neighbors had a great
laugh, catching me out there vaccuuming up foxtail seeds with the
wet-dry vac. Worked great, by the way, many fewer dog-nose weeds this
year!
 
 
 

To Mulch or Not To Mulch - Why Wouldn't You?

Post by d » Sat, 12 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

> > >> My question is, why would anyone ever choose *not* to mulch??


Quote:

> Simple:  some plants, e.g. ones that need good drainage and prefer rocky
> "poor" soil can get crown/root rot diseases by having a high
> concentration of organic material near their root system.  The drainage
> may become less in this case as well.  

> Slugs, pillbugs etc can also be encouraged by the presence of organic
> mulch.  So, the holy grail of "mulching is always a great idea"  -
> especially organic mulches - should be viewed with Caution.  I think
> this mulch mania can sometimes get overblown.  Nothing works to improve
> conditions in all cases; it just ain't that simple.  Sure, it helps in
> most cases, but be careful, don't run with scissors.

> John R> z8b Austin

John,

An interesting post! I, too, am beginning to reconsider the "mulch is
always a good idea" advice I've been handing out.

The question I have concerning your post is that you didn't specify which
particular pathogen you were referring to. When you say that mulches can
cause "crown/root rot diseases" are you saying that mulches encourage
Phytophthora, which thrives in wet and hot soils? Pythium?

I'm beginning to suspect that mulches do indeed supress Phytophthora, but
in so doing, end up encouraging Verticillium or perhaps Fusarium Wilts
through the following mechanism: Mulches allow the soil to remain cool and
moist, so even in the height of summer, Springlike conditions are
perpetuated. As I understand it, these conditions are ideal for the Wilt
diseases to take hold. Normally they attack during the cool soils of
Spring, but lose influence as the soils get hotter. With mulches they can
increase in virulence longer than normal and cause enough damage so that
when hot weather rolls around, the plants lack enough water transport
mechanisms to sustain them during the heightened water transport demands
of hot weather, and collapse, even though the initial attack actually
occurred months earlier.

What do you and others think?

David Deutsch
Gondwana Gardens
http://www.gondwana.org

 
 
 

To Mulch or Not To Mulch - Why Wouldn't You?

Post by Susan K. Weh » Sat, 12 Sep 1998 04:00:00


I mulch my tomatoes heavily and replenish the mulch throughout the season.
Blights are kept to a minimum where before they decimated my plants.  My
plants survive our hot summers a lot easier now with far less water.  I've
never had a problem with pillbugs.  I haven't had any crown rot on my
perennials, but I don't mulch over them as it's not necessary with our mild
winters. I also don't mulch right up against my trees as it can cause diseases
to develop.   I think it may really depend on your weather and perhaps even
things like ground moisture.

susan

Quote:
> > > >> My question is, why would anyone ever choose *not* to mulch??


> > Simple:  some plants, e.g. ones that need good drainage and prefer rocky
> > "poor" soil can get crown/root rot diseases by having a high
> > concentration of organic material near their root system.  The drainage
> > may become less in this case as well.

> > Slugs, pillbugs etc can also be encouraged by the presence of organic
> > mulch.  So, the holy grail of "mulching is always a great idea"  -
> > especially organic mulches - should be viewed with Caution.  I think
> > this mulch mania can sometimes get overblown.  Nothing works to improve
> > conditions in all cases; it just ain't that simple.  Sure, it helps in
> > most cases, but be careful, don't run with scissors.

> > John R> z8b Austin

> John,

> An interesting post! I, too, am beginning to reconsider the "mulch is
> always a good idea" advice I've been handing out.

> The question I have concerning your post is that you didn't specify which
> particular pathogen you were referring to. When you say that mulches can
> cause "crown/root rot diseases" are you saying that mulches encourage
> Phytophthora, which thrives in wet and hot soils? Pythium?

> I'm beginning to suspect that mulches do indeed supress Phytophthora, but
> in so doing, end up encouraging Verticillium or perhaps Fusarium Wilts
> through the following mechanism: Mulches allow the soil to remain cool and
> moist, so even in the height of summer, Springlike conditions are
> perpetuated. As I understand it, these conditions are ideal for the Wilt
> diseases to take hold. Normally they attack during the cool soils of
> Spring, but lose influence as the soils get hotter. With mulches they can
> increase in virulence longer than normal and cause enough damage so that
> when hot weather rolls around, the plants lack enough water transport
> mechanisms to sustain them during the heightened water transport demands
> of hot weather, and collapse, even though the initial attack actually
> occurred months earlier.

> What do you and others think?

> David Deutsch
> Gondwana Gardens
> http://www.gondwana.org