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Oct / Nov issue of The Irish Garden








Rachel's Journal

Rachel's Journal

Last Post 1 day 8 hours ago

Chocolate

03 March 2011 20:44:51
Chocolate

Chocolate

Well, I'll tell you one thing. Shovelling chocolate sure is a lot more pleasant than shovelling sh1*. And I should know after the work I've been doing these two days.

First I watered my long border and then I mulched it with cocoa husk mulch. It is such lovely light stuff to handle and it does smell like chocolate - except slightly more aromatic. Then I watered again. The first watering is to trap moisture under the mulch (standard procedure). The second one is to make the cocoa husk stick together otherwise one big wind and my neighbour will have the benefit of my mulch instead of me.

The head gardener at Altamont Gardens swears by cocoa mulch, which is where I got the idea from. The husks feed as well as suppress weeds. In Altamont they lay cocoa mulch around their roses and give them no other fertiliser. So I am trying it.

And, in case someone starts moaning about air miles, cocoa husks are the by-product of the chocolate industry. The mulch comes from Cadbury's factories and would be dumped if not bought for gardening purposes.

The only gripe so far is that there are tiny little pieces of coloured paper and even plastic through the mulch. So I have to be like a magpie, pecking them off the top of my borders : (

I haven't finished the long border yet but should do so tomorrow. I'll then see how much mulch I have left for the rest of the garden.


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fran m fran m 03 March 2011 20:54:56

Think you have sold me on that mulch, well done on a good day's work, looks great.


Deborah Deborah 03 March 2011 20:57:16

We bought two bales of cocoa mulch about 3 years ago. It really is a pleasure to use isn't it? It made a lovely job of the borders, they looked like Chelsea show gardens! It does go a bit mouldy after a few weeks, and that seems to freak some people out, but I didn't mind, it was only the underlayers and if you don't disturb it then it won't bother you. The two bales went a long way in our garden.


spider spider 03 March 2011 20:58:04

fascinated by this cocoa mulch.never heard of it before. how did you get your hands on it, or what way does it come ?


Myrtle Myrtle 03 March 2011 20:58:25

It certainly looks great as well as smelling good.


Hoeys Hoeys 03 March 2011 21:01:48

looks great and i guess its smell much better then manure....


Rachel Rachel 03 March 2011 21:02:25

I think you were sold on it at Altamont, Fran.

Deborah, it's looking like the 2 bales are only going to cover my long border : ( How did you find it nutrition wise?

It comes in bags or bales, Spider. The supplier I used is in Co Carlow.

It's like Easter has come early in my garden, Myrtle.


J.D. J.D. 03 March 2011 21:07:05

They used to sell that in Homebase when I worked there. Hmmmm my favourite place was in amongst all the bags of Cocoa mulch. But did you know that it is posionous to cats and dogs. It contains Theobromide which can be lethal.


Rachel Rachel 03 March 2011 21:09:04

Lucky we don't have any cats and dogs, Jacinta. I'd better keep the chickens off it!


Rachel Rachel 03 March 2011 21:10:09

By the way, before it's wet the cocoa husk has the consistency of dry corn flakes. Very odd!


fran m fran m 03 March 2011 21:16:51

Jacinta, I have heard that the amount that they would need to eat, is so vast that this is more likely a ''urban legend''


Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 03 March 2011 21:36:01

It looks lovely on the beds. Mary


Clara Clara 03 March 2011 21:56:10

Great few days work and looks lovely.


Krista Krista 03 March 2011 22:11:07

Deborah, did you get it from the same supplier as Rachel or is there anyone in the west supplying it?


Lìga Lìga 03 March 2011 22:19:47

Magpie...Ah,sorry didn't see it:))

  Good girl,,i bet next time i do not recognize your garden.


shazzsamsudin shazzsamsudin 03 March 2011 22:30:33

I'm totally sold, and now I want some. Does your supplier deliver to Cork, Rachel?


Periwinkle Periwinkle 03 March 2011 22:49:08

Great work Rachel. I remember seeing it on the borders at Altemount. Makes a lovely job.


Cloncaw Cloncaw 03 March 2011 23:32:16

Involves a lot of work but looks good.


BrunoCork BrunoCork 04 March 2011 11:32:45

it looks really good....nice and fine.


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