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Please give me your 2 cents!

Posted by smdmt z5 (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 16:55

Last fall I started preparing an annual cut flower bed (about 20'x5') by digging up the sod, adding a layer of cardboard and putting down an inch or so of horse manure and leaves. I topped that with turned over sod and compost.
This spring I planted the annuals in the mix and they have done quite well. Now, I am thinking this fall to add more leaves, compost, etc. What would you recommend to cover it with so the good stuff isn't lost in the wind and rain/snow? Perhaps a cover crop like I will do in my vegetable garden?
Thanks for taking the time to read my post!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Please give me your 2 cents!

To keep things from blowing away, put a layer of branches (from tree pruning somewhere) over the top of the bed.

RE: Please give me your 2 cents!

  • Posted by nil13 z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Wa (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 22:47

Or you could just grow the cover crop.

How much organic matter did you start with in the soil?

RE: Please give me your 2 cents!

Where in the Rocky Mountains are you? Whether you might need something to hold those leaves in place depends on many things, starting with what kind of winter winds you have and what kind of snow cover you can expect and when. Where I am I have not had a problem with winds blowing the shredded leaves off the planting beds, even if there was nothing to hold them in place except snow. But then I planted windbreaks around from day one although I still get snow drifting from the winter winds and snow fencing does help.
I found, many years ago, that a mulch and a cover crop do not do very well together, even though the cover crop may trap some wind blown leaves.

RE: Please give me your 2 cents!

I put compost or half finished compost down in the fall and cover with leaves or leaf-grass clipping mix. A leaf-grass mix stays in place in the wind, seems the grass ties things together better. Not sure if you can get grass clippings where you are. You could also mulch over the top with shredded wood or yard waste. Or use a piece of burlap or lightweight bird netting. I've reused the nets they put over Christmas trees when they sell them, perfect for keeping a leaf pile down. Or if you have a veggie garden, lay your tomato cages on top of the leaves for winter.

RE: Please give me your 2 cents!

Tox! Ahhhh burlap! We used to get our animal food in those lovely re-usable burlap bags!
Now you have to go to the fabric store and BUY burlap! It's fairly inexpensive, but you still have to BUY it! Nancy

RE: Please give me your 2 cents!

Ah, the good old days. Now everything is in semi-useless plastic packaging. :-[

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