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Author Topic: Stone Mulch in Temperate Climate?  (Read 265 times)

Triloba Tracker

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Stone Mulch in Temperate Climate?
« on: August 11, 2017, 10:28:43 AM »
I keep coming across references in various places to stone/rock "mulch" around trees or shrubs as a unique method of water conservation or even harvesting.

The thing that most piqued my interest was the concept of the rocks condensing/concentrating the dew and feeding that down to the soil.
I've read other people talking about other just general water conservation benefits along with heat radiation, soil cooling, etc.

My question is whether the dew "harvesting" action will be effective in a temperate climate? I guess I'm showing my ignorance of biophysics/chemistry a bit here.

Would love to hear anyone's experience with rocks in temperate zones. I'm thinking larger stones, baseball-size or larger.

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Citradia

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Re: Stone Mulch in Temperate Climate?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 09:02:55 PM »
I would be concerned about fall leaves getting stuck between stones and having to pick leaves out by hand. I have a few stone-covered areas with corrugated pipe rain water drains to prevent erosion of the slope in front of my house. Fall leaves get stuck between stones and after doing leaf blower of rake, theee are still s lot of leaves in between stones and I try to pick them out. May not be as bad with round stones. The other thing is that organic matter will build upon and under stones even with landscaping paper under them and it is more difficult to remove stones for any kind of cultivation that may be needed in the future. I'm a fan of natural mulch that will break down into compost over time and is easily remove with rake or shovel, and easily disposed of.

Triloba Tracker

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Re: Stone Mulch in Temperate Climate?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2017, 11:51:02 AM »
Thanks!

Yeah I was going to do the round stones on top of thick organic mulch, sort of as a top layer. Big enough to move by hand and not get lost down into the organic matter.
In my specific case I won't have leaves falling in this area for a few years until the trees get more mature.
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BajaJohn

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Re: Stone Mulch in Temperate Climate?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2017, 12:36:57 PM »
The idea is based on the air well and isn't universally accepted.
It is a similar process to dew formation and depends to some extent on local conditions. Try a small pile and see if they gather moisture. Apart from that, stone prevents water evaporation from the soil surface by reducing exposed soil area and reducing surface air movement. Gravel works as a mulch and is easy to keep clear of debris with a rake or blower.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 12:56:53 PM by BajaJohn »

Triloba Tracker

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Re: Stone Mulch in Temperate Climate?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2017, 06:34:03 PM »
The idea is based on the air well and isn't universally accepted.
It is a similar process to dew formation and depends to some extent on local conditions. Try a small pile and see if they gather moisture. Apart from that, stone prevents water evaporation from the soil surface by reducing exposed soil area and reducing surface air movement. Gravel works as a mulch and is easy to keep clear of debris with a rake or blower.


thanks for the link! I see in that article it mentions that the stone mulch idea possibly does not actually result in dew condensation but, as you stated, simply prevents water loss from the soil around.
I get plenty of rainfall in my area (on average) to probably worry about this. Just thick organic mulch is probably sufficient.
Jus crazy bout dem pawpaws!

 

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