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Green duckweed mulch to the rescue?

June 11, 2012

View it and weep.. a new garden site consisting of compact clay- the quality of which enables it be formed into  excellent toilets and sinks. (A company just down the road does this.) Blanket lightly with a scattering of top soil filled with crab grass clippings, a few desperate bags of Walmart humus/manure… Well, you get the picture. It ain’t pretty, especially from an organic gardener’s point of view, but this is all I had to work with since my landscaping project got started. I HAD to get my tomatoes  in the ground instead of a holding pattern in clothes baskets lined with plastic. That’s what I thought at the time. Now, ten days later, I’m not so sure.

I replanted all 36 plants in as-best-as-I-could shovel-out holes.  I stripped the plants of their current offspring, trimmed back side shoots, sat back and prayed. I feel like I’d sentenced them all to a short life in a tough prison because I didn’t even till up the clay first.  After years of lasagna gardening and not even needing a tiller, I didn’t feel like purchasing or renting one just for this project.

To make amends, I’m religiously watering every day, staking, and cheating with a bit of Miracle Gro as a reward for 31 of the 36 surviving the double blow of retransplanting. Am holding my breath.

   I harvested duckweed from my pool and applied it to a couple of the plants as further recompense. At least THEY will survive, if any of them do. I have a lot of faith in duckweed green mulch as a result of my earlier tests this spring. Need more pools of it pronto.

Stay tuned for either death knells or a duckweed miracle of nature.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2012 6:33 pm

    Old fashioned dgiging is the best way, and you have a small patch so it won’t take you more than a couple of hours and is good exercise.Spread your compost and sand over the area to be dug. Dig out a trench 6 9 inches deep with a shovel and put the dirt to the side. (Actually it is a lot easier to dig clay with a garden fork, if you can find one. It breaks up the soil more easily and is less work). Dig a second trench next to the first and dump the soil in the first trench as you go along. This brings the soil from the bottom to the top and buries the weed seeds that are in the top inch or two. Keep going till you have done the whole area. Rake the whole area and break up any big lumps. Leave it for a couple of days to settle before you plant. Better wait for a rainstorm.


    • July 2, 2012 4:49 pm

      In theory, I’m with ya. In reality, my clay is like a rock and I prefer to let earthworms do my deep digging. Just have to give them something to eat…


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