|Another pile of arborist chips. 2.11.16|
We have a large area to mulch. We'll get through them in a month.
I also weeded the bearded iris beds. Weeds were minimal this time. The irises have broken dormancy and are growing strong, although that happens each year, then there is extensive leaf spot and bacterial rot, which is frustrating. Reading multiple sources, they state don't mulch them, that promotes rot.
|Mulched Iris Beds. 2.11.16|
But they were not mulched for years, and the diseases were a big problem. I am experimenting now. Last summer I applied an arborist chip mulch, and they grew very well with, I think, much less disease.
My working theory is the chips are open enough to prevent sogginess, they dry quickly. Maybe - maybe - the evergrees contain substances that reduce fungal and bacterial diseases. By applying on top of the soil, rains do not splash spores onto the plants. If not, and they all die, that's OK - 3 years is long enough to try and be frustrated. Darwin at work, survive or be replaced.
More chips will go onto the strawberries, and we have a lot of perennial borders and other places in need of the weed suppression and water retention effects during the summer.