Mulch Madness

My mother did some gardening, but not a lot – the occasional rose bush but it was never a grand passion.  She never asked me to help with anything in the yard, not even raking in the fall.  None of my grandparents had the gardening bug either, so I’m not sure where I got the flower fever.

My plan of more flowers/less grass has pretty much come to fruition – there is hardly any grass left in the front.  Although the more flowers/less grass situation does come with an unforeseen circumstance – mulch!  We use a lot.

And in the more interesting turn of events, YA has made it clear that SHE is in charge of the mulch.  She has opinions about what kind is best (cypress), how many bags at a time I should get (definitely 6), where it goes in the yard and who should be putting it down where (I get the boulevard, she gets everywhere else).  This year she put down some of that black tarp on the northern side of the front yard and covered it with mulch as well.

Now we’re waiting for mulch to be re-stocked at the nursery – they were out yesterday morning – the latest repercussion of shelter-in-place – lots more folks are gardening!

Any gardening surprises for you this year?

59 thoughts on “Mulch Madness”

  1. i miss my hosta and lily’s
    i live plants you can’t kill, i used to do ferns too but debbie hates ferns because the take over
    i stopped snow on the mountain for the same reason
    that is what i love about strawberries and chives

    now i’ll do a couple annuals for flower boxes for mother’s day and that’s about it

    i have never bought a bag of mulch but i’ve sold a couple thousand truckloads
    mulch is the best deal ever.
    5 bags for $10 and the bag is huge cypress is the exception. 6 or 7 per bag
    oh i’d like to recommend cocoa mulch from the husks of cocoa beans it smells sooooo good.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am with you on the hostas and the lilies…I love that they can usually handle whatever mother nature has to throw with them, without any intervention from me.


  2. We mulched a lot last year, not so much this year. I am surprised how much the strawberries spread, If they produce like they did last year I will have to make jam.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So, Renee, this is why I am considering lobbying hard with you to retire in Hutchinson where your BFF lives, rather than Lucerne. Then I could come visit and sample your food goodies when you write about being on a cooking tear. Luverne is too far. Hutch is accessible enough that you could host a house full of Baboons.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. You seem to have a hard time with the concept of retiring, Jacque. You’re not supposed to work once you’re retired, not even part-time. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

        2. It is my inner Warren Buffet. Why quit?

          And then the gardening slogan: “Old gardeners never die, they just spade away.”

          Liked by 3 people

        3. Gardening is fine. So is packaging and/or delivering meals on wheels. Even building houses for Habitat for Humanity, or taking care of your grandchildren a day or two a week, is OK. Working part time at your previous profession, or greeting shoppers at Walmart, however, are a little suspect as retirement pastimes.

          Liked by 2 people

        4. I suppose. I have always loved doing therapy. I guess I am just not done yet. But I sure do not have the energy to do it full-time anymore.

          Liked by 3 people

        5. Especially right now, I can imagine, when you have your own anxiety to keep under control.


        6. Oh, there is no anxiety at all—denial works really well. Actually, in our zoom meeting the other day we made a fairly detailed plan about how to manage the coming months so we feel safe there. I was thinking about that, though. So far, I don’t know anyone who has had this virus, but I have heard of some. I think I will feel much more anxious when the second peak comes in the Fall and then we must isolate again, or maybe people in my world will have it.

          Right now I am trying to decide who I will share my “bubble world” with to manage and enjoy life alittle bit. Right now I would love to share my bubble with a sanitized, masked hair stylist.

          Liked by 3 people

        7. Were either of them tested, Steve? Off hand I’d say that your erstwife is probably a lot more likely to have contracted it. Belgium has dismal statistics both in term of confirmed cases and deaths related to it. Among the worst in Europe.


        8. Sorry to be slow to see these questions. My erstwife, who does live in Belgium, was in China early in January. She came home sick with symptoms that point strongly toward the virus, but has not been able to get a test. My daughter’s symptoms were frustratingly obscure and different from the classic COVID-19 profile, but the virus is complicated. She and I personally believe she had it. She’ll ask for a test soon, and I’ll let you folks know what we learn. The good news is that both of the women in what is still “our family” are perfectly healthy now.

          Liked by 1 person

        9. When I returned from a three week trip to China in the fall of 2001, I was sick with an upper respiratory infection. It started in Guangzhou, but with the assistance and drugs supplied by several American MDs who were in our group, I managed to keep it somewhat at bay until I was back in Minnesota. I was pretty miserable for a long time; my last couple of days in China were no fun.

          It was obviously not Covid-19, but an infection severe enough that I was sick for three weeks, and lost most of my hearing in my right ear as a result of it. I would not jump to the conclusion that having caught some sort of a bug in China is necessarily the novel coronavirus. I’d make sure to get tested.


  3. I think I mentioned some time ago that husband had gone crazy planting seeds indoors in anticipation of planting a vegetable garden once the soil warmed a bit. I tried to caution him that he was perhaps being overly ambitious in terms of the number and variety of seeds he had planted, especially when you take into consideration the limited space we have for them all.

    I needn’t have worried. Yesterday he told me that the reason his seeds hadn’t succeeded was that he hadn’t scored them. This, of course, is not true. (I hadn’t been upstairs for a few weeks, so I wasn’t aware that his seedlings apparently have succumbed to his constant watering.)

    His seeds were planted too early, in insufficient light, and resulted in weak leggy seedlings. He has neither the knowledge, patience or temperament for gardening. He’s too impulsive, eschews seeking advice from experienced gardeners or reading up on his own. He insists on doing things his way, basically learning by trial and error. Mostly error, I’m afraid. It’s not a tragedy. He’ll be going to the Homestead near Ely on Sunday, and will be gone for a week or two, right when he should be planting the garden. That will give me some time to recruit a friend or two to round up a few vegetable seedlings and plant a garden while he’s gone. We don’t need a forest of corn, or three different kinds of squash and cucumbers. Just give me a few tomato plants, a little kale, some herbs, a pepper plant or two, maybe a single cucumber, and an assortment of lettuces and I’ll be happy. Maybe I should put in a potato plant or two? We’ll see how long my ambition lasts, and how much help I can round up.

    My friend, Helen, last week harvested the first tender rhubarb from my garden. The payoff for me was a couple of generous servings of the best rhubarb crumble ever. I love this time of year. Tulips and daffodils are still going strong, the hostas are leafing out at an alarming speed, and the peonies have all escaped the confines of their support cages. Lillies of the valley will be blooming shortly, and before you know it, my John Cabot rose will be blooming. The novel coronavirus be damned, spring is here.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. See what I mean? You issue these teasing descriptions about rhubarb delicacies, and I am left hanging 450 miles east of the action.

        I guess I must make my own rhubarb CRISP. We call it CRISP.

        PJ, let me know if I can assist with the planting.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Crisp generally has rolled oats in the topping. Crumble generally does not. I prefer oatless crumble.


        2. What Helen made had rolled oats on top, I think, but since I ate the evidence, perhaps I should ask for the recipe so I can make my own. It was really good.

          Liked by 3 people

      2. I have just pulled my Rhubarb Crisp (with oats) out of the oven. I also made an instantPot Soup; Creamy Gnochi Soup for supper. It all smells so god.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. I was surprised yesterday to see that the chimayo peppers I started from seed are trying to set flowers already. They are still under the grow lights in the furnace room and are about 6 inches tall and covered in flower buds. We never grew these types if peppers before. They may be real good producers.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    VS, “Mulch Madness” is a cleaver column name. It makes me giggle.

    We don’t use much mulch—the local population of moles burrow under it too comfortably. Mole Holes are just not my thing. We are already fighting off pocket gophers that love to burrow from the cold frame, under the fence, and into the sacred garden space. Then you add a rabbit giving birth in the row of beets and you have rodent heaven in our back yard. No mulch to encourage them.

    We have not had any big surprises this year. We have been appreciating the usefulness of the electric rototiller that we purchased upon Bill’s recommendation. Lou tilled the garden, then moved on into a weedy, bare patch in the front flower bed. He discovered that you could narrow the width of the tiller so that it fit well in the area, so that he was able to loosen the soil in some problem areas without disturbing the established perennials. WOOHOO.

    The deer got most of my tulips this year. What to do?

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Glad he’s safe for now.

        The report from Drogheda this morning is that my aunt Mary is doing better. Her temp is down, so seems to be recovering. At 92 that’s amazing. Her son George attributes it to the Virgin Mary who he had enlisted to help.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Can’t remember if I’ve told you that our next door BVM has been removed. Not sure where to, but she’s gone from next door. The sleeping Mexican is gone as well. The current owners, who are aspiring house flippers, have never moved in, but they are slowly erasing all outside evidence of the Rodriguez family having lived there for half a century.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. Looked at the forecast for tomorrow night and there is mention of the “s” word. That was a bit of a surprise. Although I live in Minnesota and nothing should surprise me.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. One surprise was finding, in two places, some wild ginger that I was given last fall, and had forgotten about.Other surprised are a number of either weeds or perennials that I can’t remember their identity, so will leave them for now, just in case. : )

    And (have I mentioned ? that) Husband has rented a plot at a community garden a couple of blocks. 45 or 50 cement block beds… ours is long and narrow and so far has transplanted strawberries, with squash for later on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My wild ginger is doing its thing as well. That stuff spreads, but I like it anyway. Unlike the Virginia spotted waterleaf which I don’t like, at all. I rue the day I thought it was a good idea to plant that in my garden.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, that’s what I have. And, facepalm, I planted the damn thing myself. It’s native, and it’s pretty for about a week (the week I saw it in a friend’s garden, of course), and so I accepted a couple of plants for my garden.


  8. Morning-
    I was out last Tuesday at the gardening centers and there was no kohlrabi starters or seed potatoes to be had. Tried three placed that were out of potatoes. Then Fleet Farm came through with bins full of 5 lb bags. I’ve cut them apart but haven’t had a chance to stuff them down in my straw bales yet.
    I should finish planting crops today (fingers crossed knock on wood) and then can work on the garden. Need to get the fence up before I plant much. But they are well ‘prepped’.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ben, if you are in the area sometime, I will have Kohlrabi to burn. Glad to share. Every seed germinated in the cold frame.


      1. I am the happy farmer, Ben,
        I plant my seeds each year
        Sometimes I get that done in time
        Sometimes it’s rather late

        Sometime it’s rather late

        I ride my tractor with my wife
        We pretend it is a date
        She is my gal, we are a team
        And Bailey fit’s right in

        And Bailey fits right in

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Ben, it gives me such joy to look at your smiling, dirty face; bare, hairy arms, and Kelly smiling broadly beside you in the cab of your tractor. You both seem to be such wonderful examples of people who are blooming where they are planted, all of the attendant mess notwithstanding.

          Liked by 3 people

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