What happens to all that green waste we put out each week? What about all the debris from commercial tree trimming? Turns out that Santa Barbara County turns most of it into composted garden mulch and offers it for free back to the community. Check out the details here. I gathered some and put it around a couple of trees and they seem much happier, especially my semi-dwarf avocado. I'm sure y'all know the advantages to putting a layer of mulch on the ground... helps retain moisture, adds organic matter and improves soil structure, keeps the nearby roots cool, and suppresses weeds. Good stuff, that mulch.
So yesterday when I saw some city workers trimming the Brazilian Pepper trees on our street, and subsequently feeding them into the mother of all chipper/shredders, I asked if they could dump a bunch into my driveway. Sure thing, they said...
Thirty-seven wheelbarrow loads later, I had it spread around my yard on some bare spots and weedy areas. I was careful not to put this mulch too close to any plants because it was too fresh. As it begins to decay, it will suck nitrogen from the soil underneath, so it could harm the plants initially. It should be fine within a month or two.
Then later, on a whim, I googled "Mulching with Brazilian Pepper trees" and discovered that this particular species is hated in some places (especially Florida) because it's extremely invasive and hard to kill off. A couple sources recommended never making it into mulch. Seems it can propagate from the pieces and if you aren't careful, you'll end up with a forest growing from the mulch. Now you tell me!
Oh yeah, and on my ride yesterday a rabbit ran across the bike path and got decapitated in the spokes of the guy next to me, and blood and guts splashed up on me. It was gross.