Still decorating with pumpkins!
The weather over the weekend was dreary, hot, humid. . . . . . . thanks to the latest
hurricane which, although far away from here, still sent signs in the clouds and a
few rain showers. We do need rain, especially for the trees and gardens.
We are wondering if the brilliant autumn colors will come this year, all seems
stagnant, almost lifeless after such a long dry spell.
Did you know that garden mulch can catch fire?
We had a scary incident on the last day of painting on Thursday - when the
painter was working on the front porch posts. For an hour or so we could
smell burning in the air but couldn't pinpoint it. When the painter, kneeling on
the flower bed noticed his drop cloth was scorched along one edge, he pulled
it back and saw smoke coming from the ground close to the foundation of the house!
He pulled back the mulch which was smoldering and very hot! We immediately
saturated the entire bed with the garden hose, also the second bed in front of our
bedroom window, just in case.
Both these areas are where we had all the shrubs and ground cover, other
than the hydrangeas, removed to do the work on the house. The soil/mulch
is now exposed to the sun which has been constant and very hot every day.
With no rain for several weeks, the intense sunshine on the thick layer of
built up mulch - ours is mainly shredded pine bark mulch and nuggets which
break down into a rich soil - caused spontaneous combustion and underground
burning as it turned into fertilizer.
I was online in no time flat looking up what was happening in my garden, as
nobody seemed familiar with such a situation. What I read about houses/buildings
actually catching fire from similar situations was really frightening.
I'm writing this as a brief heads up if you also have a build up of old
mulch in your garden beds. If exposed to sun and there has been little rain,
you may want to get out there with your hose and do some watering.
We are planning on restoring our front beds - will have the old mulch
dug out and removed, perhaps changing to decorative stones for
ground cover. Any tips regarding the best way to mulch garden beds will
~ Thanks ~