[NAFEX] water shedding mulch

David Consolvo fruitopia at firstva.com
Thu Oct 29 18:04:33 EDT 2009

Wow, I think that's what has been happening with my stable waste.  I assumed that 
the fungus-filled shredded wood/tiny chips were composting and that the lack of 
water penetration would be getting better with composting, but it only got worse.
~David Consolvo

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: Alan Haigh <alandhaigh at gmail.com>
Reply-To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date:  Thu, 29 Oct 2009 14:47:50 -0400

>Mark wrote "In cases where there are only puny rains, yes some mulches may
>water, but 1/4" rain isn't going to do much for a tree in bone dry soil".
>Interestingly, Carl Whitcomb, the master of counter intuitive research
>suggests in his book "Establishment and Maintenance of Landscape Plants"
>that frequent shallow watering is a better way to get trees through drought
>than fewer deep waterings.   It gives the trees what they need without
>stimulating new vegetative growth which would require increasing amounts of
>water.  So maybe 1/4" of rain could make the difference in a trees survival
>although I figure Mark is fundamentally correct.
>Also, on the subject of mulches matting up and repelling water, I do think
>this can be quite a problem in any normal summer here in southeastern NY
>(as if we ever had normal summers).  I have never had stable waste do this,
>but shredded wood is automatic in this regard.  It never happens to me with
>wood chips, but shredded wood gets glued together with fungus and completely
>sheds water.  No amount of rain will penetrate it.  This can be advantageous
>for weed control under an established tree but for an establishing tree, and
>especially blueberries, this can be fatal.  This mulch can be broken up
>periodically to assure water penetration but the problem is usually

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