Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mulch nightmares

It is hard to admit it, but we are really battling our mulch. Last year we thought we had hit the jackpot with chopped leaves and sheep-manure-hay. As we prepped the vegetable beds for their winter dormancy, we slathered on the stuff... I mean, trailerloads of mulch, piled on every bed. And when we got back out in the fields this spring... a farmer's nightmare came true: everything looked exactly as we had left it.

We are not the only ones dealing with the aftermath of a mild, snowless winter. Other farmers I've talked to have said the same thing. None of the expected organic matter got broken down these past few months without a snow cover. And coupled with almost no rain in March, we are all scrambling to prepare our beds... some farmers around here are even starting to water their garlic (almost unheard of).

We have wasted spent many person-hours this past month removing the mulch, only to see that none of it has composted, that the lime we worked in hasn't even dissolved, that none of the sod has rotted. Woe is us, we are now hauling trailer-load after trailer-load of mulch to our already humongous piles of compost material. And almost no organic has been added to our beds.

Mother Nature, won't you give us a break? Bring us some rain and we'll take good care of your land.

1 comment:

  1. What - no pictures of Seneca - she helped by being good!