info@auchgourishbotanicgarden.org info@auchgourishbotanicgarden.org
Sat, 28 Mar 2009 16:25:43 PDT
Good evening Joyce, I hope the following is of help, if not get right back to me.

MUSHROOM COMPOST. As supplied and used in Europe the pH is relatively high and therefore not an advantage for most species of Lilium and those hybrids that are of that ilk in parentage. There are of course a few species of Lilium for whom free lime is welcome and taken up beneficially, generally speaking it is best not to for lilies but I am sure other geophytes may be suited, I just don't know what yours like or much at all about your soils. Where your soil might be very low in pH, as for example mine is at 4.5, then maybe you could get away with it as a mulch if not over done.

HORSE MANURE. Again, as supplied and used in Europe, the United Kingdom at any rate, horse dung comes with a suite of weed seeds which irritate the heck out of me, e.g. celery and also chickweed, sorry I can't recall the botanical names but will check this for you if needed, just being a bit lazy tonight. We use animal [cow] dung for two principle reasons, apart from the fact that our hairy Highland cattle keep producing it, the first of which is raising fertility in our sandy sand and gravels that leach nutrients pretty fast each year and secondly as a means to introduce humus to the soil which is basically none existent as a former boreal forest crop site, Pines mainly, all the herb layer we have here, not even peat, is derived from decaying heather, Calluna and Erica species, both are dry and woody and not much help. Our natural weed spectrum is very low, this far north we have a lot less of the air borne weed seeds flying around and those that do get scrubbed by the surrounding forest so the prospects of introducing anything new such as chickweed is a no brainer here. What's more, although we only use chemicals to control weeds on the public paths, even when we used to use it [ e.g. GRAMOXONE] it seemed unable to kill this weed off however often we revisited it so had to pull it, pull it, and pull it. Therefore no more pony poo. Celery seed is like tomato seed, it is not killed off when passing through the guts of animals, including humans, so that's another job we can, and now do, do without.

Let me know if you have any supplementary query, meantime anticipating another blizzard tomorrow and a hard frost tonight I have consulted widely and spoken very softly to the lilies et al here and told them to stay hidden, which is precisely what I intend to do tomorrow.


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