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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:11 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 10:04 am
Posts: 14
Location: Hillsboro,TEXAS
Howdy ya'll--
Was browsing through to find a solution/reason for yellow irregularly shaped patches in our St. Augustine (will try green sand and fertilizer--Don't think we're watering too much during dry season) anyways We've been at this long enough to know more than we do--chronically dumb I guess. During my browsing I discovered that decomposing wood robs the soil of (available) nitrogen. My husband caught the fellows in the orange trucks trimming the roadside trees in the area and asked them to dump their loads on our property late last summer. Oh goody LOTS of free mulch!! We loaded up our veg. garden last fall. I'd been attributing the poor growth to the mulch keeping the ground too wet with all the rain we've had, then I learned about the N.
I have lofty plans for reconfiguring our veg. garden this winter. Plan to use layers of paper,compost and various amendments under the wood next time. Also, the dirt is unusually hard and compacted this year. We put 3-4 inches of wood down. Got no weeds tho. I read that 10-20 lbs. of cornmeal will help replace nitrogen. Recon I should add more than that? One more thing and I'll go away...there have been flat irregularly shaped ugly looking saucer-sized
pinkish patches of (I assume) fungus here and there on top of the wood. That's good???? Thanks for all the good help and info!!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:18 pm
Posts: 1093
Location: McKinney,TEXAS
Row crops, vegetables and annuals prefer nitrate nitrogen, which is produced by "green" mulches (straw and grass clippings are two of the best). These are full of sugars and bacteria that create nitrates. Perennials, trees and shrubs prefer ammonium nitrogen. "Brown" mulches such as leaves and bark chips provide the perfect nutrients for fungi to produce this.
This is my veggie garden:
[img][img]http://aycu03.webshots.com/image/14962/2000000471071889043_fs.jpg[/img][/img]
Adding cornmeal and foliar feeding with fish and seaweed should help the veggies that have been mulched with bark chips.
BTW, like your husband, I had the trucks deliver 30 loads of bark chips to our pasture. They are hard to resist.
The fungus is good and comes in all sizes and colors.
Tony M


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 10, 2003 5:48 pm
Posts: 806
Location: Weatherford,TX
The patches in your lawn might be fungus which can be controlled with horticultural or whole ground cornmeal (or cornmeal juice). If grubs, use the beneficial nematodes. As far as decomposing wood robbing the soil of nitrogen, it only does that if mixed into the soil (unfinished compost will do the same thing). Wood chips used as a mulch on top of the soil will not rob your soil. Your poor growth could be that the soil beneath the mulch was not prepared properly (your say that your soil is hard & compacted), too much rain & that our nights have been fairly cool. The layers of paper are to smother any grass, weeds in a new area. I wouldn't use the paper at your next planting since you don't have this problem. The cornmeal for nitrogen is the CORN GLUTEN MEAL. It also keeps seed from germinating fully so I wouldn't use it at planting time. You can use it after plants are growing well although I think it's too expensive. The fungus on your wood is normal especially in moist conditions. Keep searching the home page & the discussion board. There is a ton of more info.

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