nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
      Archives | Subscribe | Special Sections


Lifestyle/Valley Scene arrow Features arrow Home & Garden arrow Josette Keelor arrow Winchester

| 0

Free museum gardening class to cover mulching

2014_03_10_MSV_Mulch1.jpg
Bryan Shepherd, manager of gardens and grounds at the Museum of he Shenandoah Valley, prepares a vegetable bed for mulch on the grounds at Glen Burnie. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

2014_03_10_MSV_Mulch2.jpg
Perry Matthews, director of gardens at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, holds bark mulch and mushroom compost surrounding a dogwood tree. The mushroom compost helps enrich the soil as a slow release fertilizer. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

By Josette Keelor

Temperatures have slowly begun rising, clocks have sprung ahead and though ice or snow might linger in places of shade, gardens have begun sprouting with color.

At the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, the last of the free monthly Garden Lunch Box Lessons will welcome the new season with a heaping helping of mulch.

According to Perry Mathewes, director of gardens at the museum, mulching isn't for appearances only. It helps conserve water in a garden and keep weeds from sprouting.

"It helps keep the soil at a more consistent temperature," he said -- something especially important in the cold. Without proper mulching, Mathewes said, freezes can cause the ground to expand, harming plant roots or eventually forcing them out from the earth.

"You want your plant roots to be more consistent, to keep them slightly warmer," he said. "It's better for the plants that way."

On museum gardens he generally uses shredded hardwood mulch but said he's used pine straw to great success in other gardens. Pine bark also works well, but he said black plastic or rubber mulch can cause problems.

"It doesn't allow moisture to get into the soil," he said. Aesthetically it also doesn't compare to natural mulch.

Mulching, he said, "freshens up the bed and gives you kind of a nice, clean look." He recommended mulching once or twice a season.

Teaching the class will be the museum's manager of gardens and grounds, Bryan Shepherd, who will offer an introduction to mulch and best practices, such as using the proper amount.

According to Mathewes, "There is such a thing as using too much mulch."

The free class will be about 20 minutes long starting at noon March 25 and is meant to fit easily into visitors' lunch hours. If weather allows, the class will meet outside in the picnic area at 901 Amherst St., Winchester, but if not, Mathewes said it will convene inside the museum. Participants are encouraged to bring a bag lunch and walking shoes.

"Come prepared," he said. "It will be a walk around the garden if the weather is good."

For more information, call 540-662-8756 or visit www.theMSV.org.

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com



Comments

Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. View our comments/submisssions policy. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.


















Lifestyle Sections

Apple Blossom Festival Art Ask The Doctor Big Picture Books Brides Cars Clarke County Community News Dance Dining Edinburg Entertainment Fairs Fall 2010 Family Features Festivals Food Frederick County Front Royal Haunting Tales Health History Holidays Home & Garden In The Spotlight Josette Keelor Lottery Media Menu Milestones Moms Movies Music Neighborhood Notes Pets & Animals Recreation Religion Ryan Cornell Schools Shenandoah County Strasburg 250th Surviving Cancer Teens Theatre Valley Seniors Warren County Winchester

Look Who 'Likes' nvdaily!



Daily readers: Click the "LIKE" button above to get Daily news and breaking news alerts on your Facebook page.

Activity & Recommendations






News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Comments/Submissions Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

nvdaily.com
2014 Virginia Press Association Grand Sweepstakes Winner
The Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!


nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com