It’s that time of year between when the ground thaws and the plants emerge. Our team has been busy the past couple of weeks mulching the gardens. We started by going around and taking soil tests from all of our areas. The two major things we saw were that the soils needed more nitrogen and that they had a high pH. Our soil needs a pH lower than 7 for most of the plants to adequately take up the nutrients. The Nutrimulch that we have used for the past several years was wonderful in supplying organic nutrients, but the compost was causing our soil to become more alkaline. We are working with the manufacturer of Nutrimulch, Casella Organics, to remedy the pH issue; but for now we have decided to use their regular, aged-hardwood mulch, sans compost.
We did add organic nitrogen to all our plant beds before we did any mulching. If you were here after we applied the organic fertilizer, you definitely smelled it. Let’s just say that it has a very “earthy” aroma. After we applied the fertilizer, we started mulching all the plant beds. Thus far, we have spread approximately 230 yards of mulch. Our team applies it with big shovels, so spring is our big workout. We have a couple more garden areas to spread mulch on, and then we will move on to our other spring tasks.
On the horizon, we need to apply fresh stone to the pathways, renovate the Great Lawn and Rose & Perennial Garden, and go through all our gardens to make sure the signage is correct. We have a lot to do before summer, but we love working together as a team! Especially when we are mulching because we can see the results of our work immediately.
- Rodney Eason, Director of Horticulture