Straw Mulch In A Vegetable Garden & Moss Around Bonsai

Question:

I've been using straw as mulch in my vegetable garden to keep the soil from drying out too quickly. Unfortunately, it has two problems; it's messy to transport, and it's full of weed seeds. Are there any compatibility problems, if I switch to redwood bark? If so, would the bark chips be okay or would you use the shredded variety?

Answer:

  • With the rainy season concluded and the arrival of warm temperatures, it's time to think about mulching not only in your vegetable garden but around roses, camellias, azaleas, and other landscape trees and shrubs along with seasonal color.
  • There are no compatibility concerns with any of the types of bark or shredded redwood products. You can mix and match different types of mulch including shredded paper products. You'll need a thick, two to three-inch layer to conserve moisture and prevent the weed seeds from germinating.
  • Mulch from previous years needs to be replenished as it breaks down over time into smaller and smaller particles. Eventually, it forms an ideal growing medium for undesirable plants.
    • If you're using a landscape fabric or other type of weed barrier, you'll need to remove the old mulch before adding the new material.
    • The Old material is then used when planting new plants or mixed with potting soils for container plants. It has a beneficial use. It's not necessary to mulch to the main trunk of plants. The canopy of the plant(s) should be sufficient to shade this area if not then mulch to the trunk.
    • Weed seeds are always going to be a problem with any bulk product that is stored outside in open bins. They're regularly exposed to the weed seeds that blow in with the wind.
    • Whatever bulk material you decide on, you can hedge your bet against the unwanted growth by applying a pre-emergent herbicide. Pre-emergent herbicides are applied over rooted plants, preventing the weed seeds from germinating. The nursery professional at your local garden center can advise you on what to use in your yard. 

Question:

I have taken some moss that was growing around my apartment building and planted it around bonsai juniper that I keep indoors. I was hoping the moss wouldn't notice I had brought it indoors. But it did and has now lost its bright green color. What can I plant around my juniper that creates a green carpet

Answer:

  • Juniper plants in any form do not make a good houseplant because of the low light conditions. They like the outdoors where they can get lots of direct sunlight.
  • Eventually, the low light, the indoor climate will catch up with it.  So I move it outdoors, or you can also supplement the light with an Agrosun Dayspot Gro light. Traditional, household lights are ineffective in providing the necessary spectrum of light for plants to grow.  The improved lighting will also improve the existing moss’s coloring. 
  • If not you should buy six packs or Irish Moss, Baby Tear, or Creeping Mint at your favorite garden center.