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I do remember one year when we had a snow squall on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Of course it was here and gone in an hour or two at that time of year. But it did happen; and I did walk in it; and I did make snowballs. In late May.

As for mulch, nature is 1000% better than mulch will ever be.

05/03/13 @ 12:26

Ruth, I hear you. I've seen bag after bag of raked leaves at the ends of driveways all week. I've been tempted to go back under the cover of darkness and grab them all.

Our municipality has progressed to the point where they had a compost bin sale a couple of weeks ago - $25 a pop - but they still haven't figured out the mulch thing yet.

I shake my head over bagged mulch. I really don't want to know what's in the dyed variety.

05/03/13 @ 12:50

The reason you can often smell newly delivered mulch is because it has been stored in giant piles where oxygen is excluded and it can't compost the normal aerobic way it would in nature. Anaerobic decomposition produces alcohols and acids as a waste product, and that's what you smell. These gasses can be toxic to plants, so after you spread it , let it air out for a little while before planting any tender young plants in it.

05/03/13 @ 17:14
Comment from: Judy

I make my own compost, have 3 bins going all the time. I get so much pleasure out of the result, my plants are happy about it, too. And it's pretty easy to do, no reason why everyone can't compost. I also hate to think what it is these dyed and fade resistant mulches. Ridiculous!

05/04/13 @ 05:11
Comment from:

Thank you for the thoughts everyone. It's good to know I'm not alone. Thank you for the advice, Warren. I bet few people know that. And Judy, your compost is even more nutritious than mulch. I'll let you know if I learn more about the fade-resistant additives.

Of course, there are times when someone needs more mulch than they can make; it was not my intention to speak out against the occasional delivery from a neighborhood source, or even the use of mulch. But Scotts' campaign about "inferior" mulch pushed me over the edge.

Happy gardening.

05/07/13 @ 08:08
Comment from: Diane

Growing up in upper Michigan, May could be rather tumultuous in terms of weather from snow to 80. Like you, I am not showing PA pictures to folks in that direction - with all of our stunning flowering trees and shrubs.

It is always amazing what marketing and large corporations will convince people to buy. If only the public had a better knowledge of the natural world, of the science all around us. Sigh.

05/07/13 @ 19:48