> Please share responses with everyone re this. I
> know I have heard that if use a mulch that
> *leaches* nitrogen from the soil (high content
> of sawdust or wood shavings) you can use blood
> meal to boost or I guess at least level out the
You are right if you use mulch with a high contents of
sawdust or woodpartikels, (The mulch I use doesn't contain much
The bacteria use a lot of Nitrogen to break down the wood so N
will fixed in the first stadium of decay.
The activity of the bacteria are closely related to the conditions
and humidity and temperature are very important in the decay
or humification of the mulch.
If conditions are optimal (wet, hot summer) using bloodmeal is
very justified make sure enough N is left for the plants to grow
In late summer and autum the Nitrogen will be released again
because the wooddust has decayed and the bacteria will die.
adding extra N at this moment is not nessacery and can even damage
your plants if they keep growing too long and too soft and then
If you use mulch in autum I think you should not add any Nitrogen
at all to keep the mulch fresh. It will start fixing N from the
soil, plants that should stop growing by now get to little and will
stop growing and be very hardy in winter.
The N will be fixed and will only be released in spring again when
plants need it. By then you can add some hornmeal (slow release)
if you think the soil needs it.
At the moment rechearch is going on in the Netherlands about fixing
nitrogen using mustard. This is sawed in autum, takes and fixes N
and stops the plants growing, freezes in winter and protecting the
soil against frost and erosion while keeping the N fixed, decays in
spring and releases the N for the plants or soillife to use again.
Frits v/d Laan
Certified Organic Horticulture
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