[NAFEX] Sawdust Mulching

Evan kodama at riseup.net
Mon May 23 08:09:16 EDT 2011


Yes, I have thought as I lay out the cardboard that mice would probably just love it under there. My hope for the summer is that mice have plenty else to eat that they won't nibble at the bark like they might in winter. Right now I'm trying to mulch for water conservation and to suppress/kill the plants growing nearest the bushes. With your comment in mind, I wonder if going around in the fall and pulling out the cardboard and maybe even raking back the sawdust might help allay mice. I'm also using hardwood bark mulch on some trees, and I don't imagine that creates as good mouse habitat as sawdust?

One way or another, I need to attract some snakes and owls and other mice-eaters.

cheers,
Evan
zone 6
Southern Appalachia

On May 22, 2011, at 10:56 PM, Sarah Kehler Ewing wrote:

> Most fruiting things (besides Honeyberry and Haskap) like their soil a bit on the acid side and I don't see a sawdust mulch changing your pH enough to make that an issue.  The mulch itself didn't hurt my orchard: the trees with the mulch always grew better than the unmulched trees.
> 
> My concern with what you are doing involves the mouse habitat you are creating. I am quickly becoming a self-made expert in what brings mice into an orchard and my personal experience shows that your plan makes the nicest homes for mice who will then repay you by eating all the bark off your trees the very next winter even when you have 18" tall hardware cloth cages around each tree.  
> 
> I also used to mulch with sawdust from our local mills and I also used to make a doughnut of animal bedding out from the bases of all my trees.  I discovered the hard way that that trees aren't the only living things that loved what I was doing.  Won't do either of those things ever again.  
> 
> Sarah 
> zone 3
> Edmonton, AB
> 
> 
> --- On Sat, 5/21/11, Evan <kodama at riseup.net> wrote:
> 
>> From: Evan <kodama at riseup.net>
>> Subject: [NAFEX] Sawdust Mulching
>> To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> Received: Saturday, May 21, 2011, 1:44 PM
>> I've got a source of pine sawdust
>> that I've started using as mulch on some of my shrubs around
>> the orchard. My process now is to mow the vegetation around
>> each bush, lay down a slab of cardboard with a generous hole
>> in the middle where the plant pops up and then cover the
>> cardboard in about 1-2" of the pine sawdust and top it with
>> the cleared vegetation. Due to my concerns about acidity,
>> I'm prioritizing using this sawdust on blueberries, aronia,
>> and serviceberry, which from the literature seems to be able
>> to handle acidity... and so far on the native acid soil
>> (5.4) with no amendments they seem to be doing well.
>> 
>> But I'm wondering about my other trees -- apples, pears, a
>> quince, a peach, a couple kaki persimmons -- that sound like
>> they prefer more neutral soils. I'd like to mulch them with
>> sawdust too, but I'm wondering if it will make the soil too
>> acid. I've thought about mixing in a little lime with the
>> sawdust if I use it around those trees, thinking this might
>> neutralize that acidifying effect.
>> 
>> Does anyone have experience or insight with this?
>> 
>> take root,
>> Evan
>> Zone 6, Southern Appalachians, 2800'
>> __________________
>> nafex mailing list 
>> nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Subscribe, unsubscribe, change your user configuration or
>> find out more about the list here:
>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/nafex
>> NAFEX web site: http://www.nafex.org/
>> 
> __________________
> nafex mailing list 
> nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subscribe, unsubscribe, change your user configuration or find out more about the list here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/nafex
> NAFEX web site: http://www.nafex.org/



More information about the nafex mailing list