Confused about mulching

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Confused about mulching

Post by Mike Gilmor » Mon, 02 Nov 1998 04:00:00



Its pointless to mulch after a hard freeze, the damage is done and the mulch
only serves to retain the cold already in the ground.  The whole point of a
mulch is to keep the cold out!
 
 
 

Confused about mulching

Post by FHart320 » Mon, 02 Nov 1998 04:00:00


The purpose of a winter mulch is to keep the heat in--the heat from the
ground-the earth is always warmer than the air in winter and although the
surface may freeze as you go down the temperature rises and when a certain
depth is reached the temperature remains virtually constant year round.  Thats
how the heat pump system functions.  My well water,for example, at 100 feet
down, maintains the same temperature summer and winter.
 
 
 

Confused about mulching

Post by Dana Parke » Mon, 02 Nov 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

> Its pointless to mulch after a hard freeze, the damage is done and the mulch
> only serves to retain the cold already in the ground.  The whole point of a
> mulch is to keep the cold out!

That's only part of the point of a mulch. Mulch keeps temperatures from
fluctuating, winter or summer. The same mulch that serves to keep the cold out,
also keeps the heat out. Cycles of freezing and thawing are more damaging to
plants than staying frozen.

There's another good reason to wait until after a hard freeze to mulch, or until
after the ground has frozen - if you mulch before then,  pests can use the mulch
as a winter home. After a freeze, they'll be killed off.

 
 
 

Confused about mulching

Post by Byron Morri » Tue, 03 Nov 1998 04:00:00


I mean, after all, mulch freezes too.  It's not compost.  I use mulch after
the ground freezes to prevent freeze/thaw, as Dana says.
Mulch slows the penetration of colder temperatures into the ground is all,
just as insulation in an unheated garage slows the cooling inside the garage
vs.. outside the garage.  But eventually if it stays below freezing outside,
it will become below freezing inside.

Quote:


>> Its pointless to mulch after a hard freeze, the damage is done and the
mulch
>> only serves to retain the cold already in the ground.  The whole point of
a
>> mulch is to keep the cold out!

>That's only part of the point of a mulch. Mulch keeps temperatures from
>fluctuating, winter or summer. The same mulch that serves to keep the cold
out,
>also keeps the heat out. Cycles of freezing and thawing are more damaging
to
>plants than staying frozen.

>There's another good reason to wait until after a hard freeze to mulch, or
until
>after the ground has frozen - if you mulch before then,  pests can use the
mulch
>as a winter home. After a freeze, they'll be killed off.

 
 
 

Confused about mulching

Post by Jeanne-t » Fri, 06 Nov 1998 04:00:00


Hehe... This reminds me of when as a youth in college I used to
carefully place a thick blanket under the hood, on my engine, and
swear that my gold Nova would start better in the cold Massachusetts
winter.  It may have been days before I would need to use the car!!
<g>

Jeanne



Quote:
>I mean, after all, mulch freezes too.  It's not compost.  I use mulch after
>the ground freezes to prevent freeze/thaw, as Dana says.
>Mulch slows the penetration of colder temperatures into the ground is all,
>just as insulation in an unheated garage slows the cooling inside the garage
>vs.. outside the garage.  But eventually if it stays below freezing outside,
>it will become below freezing inside.



>>> Its pointless to mulch after a hard freeze, the damage is done and the
>mulch
>>> only serves to retain the cold already in the ground.  The whole point of
>a
>>> mulch is to keep the cold out!

>>That's only part of the point of a mulch. Mulch keeps temperatures from
>>fluctuating, winter or summer. The same mulch that serves to keep the cold
>out,
>>also keeps the heat out. Cycles of freezing and thawing are more damaging
>to
>>plants than staying frozen.

>>There's another good reason to wait until after a hard freeze to mulch, or
>until
>>after the ground has frozen - if you mulch before then,  pests can use the
>mulch
>>as a winter home. After a freeze, they'll be killed off.

 
 
 

Confused about mulching

Post by William Mulle » Mon, 09 Nov 1998 04:00:00


Actually the purpose of winter mulching is not about heat at all. The perennials,
or shrubs which you would mulch for the winter months should be hardy to your zone
( USDA zones of hardiness ), and should not need a protective winter mulch to
protect from the cold. The winter mulch is to prevent uneven thawing of the ground
around your plants in the spring. Uneven thawing will cause heaving, and or
rotting of the roots. I would only recommend mulching if you live zone 5 north,
where deep frost is a problem.