Christmas Windfall for Your Green Garden

in Build Green Lawn Yard,Build That Green Blog,Landscape

Christmas is over and the presents have all been opened, but there’s still a way to give your family an extra “something special” with that old wreath or tree.

Chipping your Christmas greens and other yard waste into winter mulch creates a pile of very versatile material that all gardens need.

Plus, you’ll feel good going green by avoiding the dump and even gain a windfall from your decoration costs.

Now it’s not just winter chills that kill in the south; it’s the drying wind too.  Cold moving air can ‘freeze-dry’ exposed plant stems and evergreen leaves causing yard burn and frost bite.

Here’s a way to avoid these problems…

During one of our warmer winter days, it doesn’t take long to add a heavy mulching around delicate garden plants. This helps conserve critical moisture and protect your yard from unpredictable killing frosts and gusty breezes.

This winter, our rare December and January blizzards provided critical moisture to the garden.  Slow melting snow on top of mulch I think, is one of the best ways to both water plants and recharge the ground water (so essential to surviving our hot southern summers).  We could do with a little less sleet and ice though!

When spring weather breaks, dig your slowly rotting winter mulch in and around your plants to add essential minerals and organic matter. Our soil in the Sandhills-area is so unproductive; adding compost or mulch builds a setting essential to growing a healthy yard.

It’s important to chip your tree now to allow the organics to mellow and begin to rot.

Decaying mulch also adds a bonus – microorganisms. Plants cannot live without bacterial activity in the soil. And the bacteria cannot remain active without plenty of organic matter there for them to munch on.

Complete your spring clean-up by top dressing all of your planting beds with two to four inches of bark mulch.  For a professional look, use the back of a short, stiff toothed grading rake to define and tidy the mulch edge between lawn and garden.

Finally, here’s one last mulch idea. Use six to eight inches of wood mulch for a casual garden trail or vegetable garden path. Width can vary from just one foot to four depending upon need.

Mulch in your garden is handy and beneficial to sustainable landscaping all year round. If nothing else, the fabulous balsam smell of a chipped Christmas tree in July might even transport you back to the holidays!

Not able to chip? Botanical gardens might gladly take your greens. Recently, I had a blast volunteering at our Cape Fear Botanical Gardens Grinding of the Greens in Fayetteville, NC.

I wonder, how do you plan to use your greens?

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