Organic matter is any compound that contains carbon. It is generally obtained from living substances, which may include either animal or plant material. In the instance of soil or mulch, organic matter may be composted material obtained from grass clippings, animal waste (which is nitrogen rich) tree trimmings (which may include bark, leaf material or ground hardwood). Each product will differ in the amount and type of organic matter that it contains.
Northeast Ohio’s native soil typically contains heavy amounts of clay. Through the use of organic matter you can physically improve your soil’s quality. By incorporating organic matter, like shredded bark mulch, sweet peet™ or leaf humus, you’ll increase moisture retention and nutrient absorption which is fundamental in ensuring healthy plant growth.
Creating a garden path is mostly common sense. But it does require a lot of elbow grease and some skill. There are a few different types of material that can be used but it is up to you to decide what suits your need. Here are some path ideas that can be done on a budget.
Consider a gravel path (pea gravel / #8 washed gravel) for a low budget and time project. You can then edge the pathway with round boulders. Mulch is another inexpensive option for paths. Wood chips & playground mulch can both be used as a decorative covering for paths and walkways.
The path should be generous enough in width to accommodate more than one traveler side by side. The minimum recommended width for a two person walkway is 42 inches. This is especially important for paths that will be used frequently. Some people like to make a little garden out of life and walk down a path.
“Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?”
― Garth Nix, Sabriel
Tips for building pathways
• Spray or remove any vegetation that is growing in the pathway
• Remove or fill over any rocks or roots that will create an uneven walking surface
• Cover the soil with landscape fabric to deter weeds and prevent the fill material from mixing with the soil. Don’t use plastic. It will catch water and create a soggy path.
• Have gravel delivered, especially if you need more than a ton.
• If you want a path that’s firm enough to roll a wheelbarrow on, use crushed limestone and tamp it after leveling it. (Pea rock or other rounded stone won’t compact.) Use a hand tamper for short paths. Rent a vibrating-plate tamper for long paths.
It’s my favorite season of the year, camping season!! Are you a happy camper? I am and I’ll tell you why. After this rainy spring we had I finally got my muddy campsite cleaned up! I went over to Three-Z-Supply and picked up a couple of yards of their woodchips in my truck and hauled them out there (they do offer delivery as well). Our lot had gotten so muddy we had to rope off a section to keep our friends kids from running through and playing in all that mess. It was impossible to keep our dog clean too. We go there to relax and enjoy, not to be mopping up floors all day!
Let me tell you a little bit about these woodchips…they come from lumber mills and are natural wood or tan colored. The chips are excellent for padding under swing sets and on play areas. They are decorative coverings for paths and walkways (which is how I applied them), they look great around trees and in flower beds and are even used for ground cover in dog kennels.
Our lot looks so much better now, the muddy areas are under control and everything is nice, neat and natural looking. I recommend you head over and get some woodchips to beautify your areas as well.
Have a great summer everyone and happy camping season to you!
With as wet a spring as we’ve had it’s taken a while for the soil to dry out. Now that your perennials, annuals & vegetables are established it’s the perfect time to mulch. Mulch is great way to suppress weeds, cut down on watering; it also keeps the soil cool and improves the soils friability as it decomposes.
When determining the best type of mulch to use you need to consider its purpose. If you are installing new beds our shredded bark or custom z mulch would add nutrients and improve the soil. These mulches are double ground to a fine texture & dark brown in color. If you have an established garden we offer 100% hardwood that has been color enhanced. The dye in the mulch allows it to hold its color longer & will not harm your plants or soil. For playground and ground cover we feature double ground wood fiber or wood chips. This type of mulch would take the longest to break down.
Don’t forget mulch also enhances the curb appeal of your home & helps increase your property value. Besides that it’s affordable & easy to apply.
Summer is here. The mulch is in, the garden is growing, the flowers are blooming. Take time and enjoy all the hard work you put into your yard. But don’t forget to keep things watered. This includes your mulch.
Most mulch, including those from Three-Z are made from wood or tree bark. This means they are flammable. As the weather turns hot and dry, mulch dries out as well. Small, dry pieces of wood are perfect kindling. Many fires are started every year because a spark finds its way into dry mulch. The results can be devastating. Below are some tips to help prevent mulch fires.
- Keep mulch away from landscape lights or other electrical fixtures
- Do not discard cigarettes into mulch beds
- Keep mulch moist with regular watering
- Protect mulched areas from sparks from grills and fire pits
- Do not put citronella candles or torches in or near mulch beds
- Do not leave outdoor fires unattended
- Do not put mulch over electrical cords or wires
- Keep mulch a safe distance from other combustible materials
Winter mulching differs from spring mulching in that you’re attempting to protect your plants from harsh winter conditions – freezing, thaws and winds – by actually shielding it from the warmth of the sun. Steady temperatures help to keep your plants in dormancy and prevent them from triggering new growth during brief warm-ups.
So what can you use to winterize your beds? Try sticking with loose, insulating materials, like straw, pine needles or shredded leaves, so you can easily rake it aside and remove it come spring. If your beds don’t freeze until after the holidays, consider using cut pine boughs from your Christmas tree. Snow cover is also a great protector; and even better, requires no effort on your part!
Mulching should take place after the soil has started to harden, which is typically after the first hard frost when temperatures drop below 25°F. At this point, spread 2-4 inches of mulch around the base of your plants. Most people don’t make time for this step in the fall. However, if you’ve recently planted new shrubs, roses, etc. in your beds, consider taking this step until those plantings are more established.
The mulch needs to be removed once all threats of a hard frost are past. This can be difficult to judge, as we’ve all witnessed an occasional winter storm in April! Once thawing takes place and you can smell spring in the air (or mud), start raking and removing the mulch so the ground can begin to warm and new growth won’t be inhibited.