[nafex] Was: Weed fabric; Now: Mulch and Stink Bugs

Doreen Howard doreenh at ticon.net
Tue Jul 4 21:09:28 EDT 2000

I agree with Ed when it comes to the value of leaves applied in the fall for
mulch.  I run my mulching mower with its attached bagger over fallen leaves
on the lawn to collect them.  They are nicely shredded and pour out of the
bagger easily into garden beds.  A 6-inch covering seems to work best in my
cold, northern climate.  By spring, the shredded leaves have been reduced to
about 1/2 their original thickness.  I then top with an inch or two of
compost and shredded cedar mulch in the flower beds and straw or pine straw
in the fruit and veggie beds.  I never have weeds and crops grow well.

Lon, don't you have access to pine straw?  It stops about any weed, and it
deters slugs and many other pests.

About stink bugs--for those who are suffering damage:  When I lived along
the Gulf of Mexico, stink bugs were the worst fruit and veggie pest.  Dr.
Bart Drees at Texas A&M told me about trap crops that commercial pecan
growers in South Texas were using with great success.  Their nut crops were
reduced by half some years when the stink bugs were heavy.  Between the tree
rows in early spring, growers disked narrow rows and planted sunflower
seeds.  It seems the flowers are the preferred host crop for stink bugs.
They go to pecans and peaches next.  About the time, the sunflowers were
blooming, stink bugs arrived with a vengeance to lay eggs.  They laid them
on the sunflower heads and left the pecan trees alone.  I planted sunflowers
between my tomatoes from then on, and the stink bugs quit stinging my
peaches (which were nearby) and the tomatoes.  The sunflower heads were
teaming with stink bug nymphs and adults, though.
Doreen Howard
Zone 4b, Wisconsin where the tomatoes are setting and the sunflowers are

-----Original Message-----
From: ED Mashburn <ribes60 at currants.com>
To: nafex at egroups.com <nafex at egroups.com>
Date: Tuesday, July 04, 2000 9:51 AM
Subject: Re: [nafex] Weed fabric

>At 09:25 AM 7/4/00 -0400, you wrote:
>In reply to these comments:  I agree with Lon, I have used fabric and do
>not like the long term results. I have found the same problems. I have
>access to large amounts of leaves and find that they are the best in the
>long run, I apply about 5 to 6 inches of leaves to the rows in the fall and
>sometimes again in the early summer. This has provided adequet mulch, weed
>suppression and organic matter in the rows (of gooseberries and currants).
>I do not like clover because it is a heavy moisture user and tends  to
>creep into the rows. I have grass growing in the alleyways between the rows
>and blow the clippings onto the rows as I cut the grass.
>This method has allowed me to grow berries without irrigation to the rows.
>Ed Mashburn
>Northumberland BerryWorks
>707 Front Street
>Northumberland, PA  17857
>(570) 473-9910
>Ed at currants.com
>Make your old place like like new... Win A Guy!

Need some home improvement repairs done?
Win A Handyman and make him do it!

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