A mistake?

I was hoping to post today about my project that required creative thinking, but I realized I forgot to take a couple of key photos so it will have to wait until tomorrow. Instead I'll post about something I did recently that could end up being a terrible mistake.

For the first time ever I decided to mulch the path on this side of the house. Read on to hear why I thought this was a good idea, and also why it may be a very bad one.


First the reasoning that made this sound like a good idea...

This is the south side of the house, and in the summer it gets sun-baked. The soil is heavy clay and hard-packed, and nothing "good" grows in the path area -- the lawn turf has long been replaced by grassy weeds (or weedy grasses). Last year I had several large pots over here to give some shade and I really liked it, but that just made it even harder to mow and weed.

So my thinking was the mulch will:
  1. help the soil retain moisture 
  2. keep the ground cooler
  3. attract earthworms which will further help with the soil
  4. reduce weeding/mowing needs
Also, I have so much mulch this year, I'm looking for ways to utilize it all!

Sounds good right?

Now, the reason I think this could be a very bad idea: during heavy rains, quite a bit of water washes down the slope.

That could be because there's not much to stop it from soaking in. I added some rocks to help slow the water a couple years ago and it may have helped a little, but water still runs here.

So all of this mulch may end up in a big pile downhill in my yard. I'll know soon: thunderstorms are expected tomorrow. (The rocks are still there -- I mulched around them.)

So what do you think: was the mulch a mistake, or will it stay in place for a while?


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Lisa  – (April 22, 2013 at 7:35 AM)  

Well! Glad to see you survived your climbing adventure!

And I have this to say about mulch - water moves mulch. Just ask my pond! We mulched around the perimeter when it was too hot and dry to even attempt any kind of planting last summer when the pond was complete. Then the heavy rains came. Mulch, meet pond! It's all good though - the pond is a nice tea color, but we know from experience that will clear up eventually.

So the long and short of it - I would wait at the bottom of that slope so you can give your mulch a ride back up to the top! Although a few well-placed stepping stones may help a great deal to keep the washout from happening. Sounds like you'll find out soon enough!

Teri  – (April 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM)  

could you cut a cheap tarp to size to cover the area during rain storms? Then pull it off when they are over (at least until it gets settled)? You wouldn't need it during gentle rains.

Teri  – (April 22, 2013 at 10:38 AM)  

Or perhaps dig a little 'channel' along one side.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (April 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM)  

Your reasons for mulching make perfect sense. I don't think it was a mistake even if the water takes some mulch with it.

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