Friday, June 18, 2010

Don't Fear The Mulcher

I have a lot of crazy fears.

Ok, maybe they're not so much 'fears', but 'avoidances'. And they're not the normal ones!

Heights? I can swing that.

Public Speaking? Hand me that microphone and watch the magic unfold.


Ok, I'm a little afraid of death. Just a smidge.

But what are the silly things I'm REALLY afraid of?

Effing telephones. And look! It's a whole gang of them! O_O

I can't stand calling people. I have a hard time picking up the phone if people call me! If I have to phone for a doctor's appointment? I always chicken out and go down and make the appointment in person. For all my magical face-to-face communication skills and comical writing stylings, I don't come off well on the phone. The only people I feel comfortable calling are my Mum and Chuck.

Phones are evil. All of them. Not just the rotary kind.

What else?

Oh horror of horrors. I hate balloons. "Globophobia" is the scientific term. I don't like when they're near me. Especially floaty-helium-filled balloons. That are losing their helium. And just float down at eye level and follow you around.

And if someone pops a balloon? Fuggeddaboudit.

What else?

Mascots. I don't like when they come up and try and hug me. I didn't like it when I was a kid, and it's even more creepy now. Because only dirty, sweaty, cigar-chomping old men inhabit those mascot suits. Everyone knows that.

What else?

Is that....! *gasp*...MULCH???

Who put that there? What crazy person mulched my garden??

Oh yeah. It was me.

I don't know why I have this aversion to mulch.

Before you tell me how crazy I am, let me tell you I already know.

Mulch is awesome for the garden. Keeps moisture in. Keeps roots cool. Minimizes soil depletion. Adds organic matter to the soil, thus making gardens lush and beautiful.

So why do I tend not to use it?

I don't know. Why don't I like phoning people? :)

Chuck had never used it because he assumes that mulch harbors termites. I kind of thought this might be BS, but I wouldn't mulch close to the house because of it.

One day I was clearing debris from beneath my hydrangea. A piece of wood mulch had blown under there from another area, and I went to pick it up. A whole mess of termites squirmed out of it. And this was right next to my house, so I wasn't too happy.

And I have a hard time finding a mulch I like. I know I should compost and make my own, but I don't do that, and I probably won't anytime soon. So try not to flame me too much about that :)

So why would I start mulching now?

I've told you that there are drought-like conditions going on at Casa Del Kyna. Days on end with no clouds or rain. Just blazing sun all day long.

Taking a major toll on my plants and trees. When water does hit the soil, it just seems to evaporate. Even when watered early in the morning, or late in the evening.

So? I decided to finally get some mulch into that one small back garden. It's still nowhere near my house of course. Baby steps, here people, baby steps!


Floridagirl said...

Oh my, how weird! I have a phone phobia! Didn't know anyone else did. : ) Husband says I'm a big baby, but I either have him make appointments or I make them in person. As for mulch, I love it! But not the stuff that mats horribly (bad past experience). I use only bark pieces, leaves, or compost. Moss and newspapers have even found their way into my beds on occasion. Mulch breaks down and conditions the soil, which I've always found quite handy, both in Atlanta clay and Florida sand. Looks purty, too.

Turling said...

I fear this will become Phoneaholics Anonymous. Can't stand the contraptions. I live through e-mail. My wife returns many of my phone calls to family. I just loathe talking on them. And, don't even get me started on how much I hate getting a haircut. Sitting in that chair, perfectly still.....

But, yes, the mulch thing is weird.

AaronVFT said...

I didn't know there's a phone phobia! I'm scared of more common things, including yucky human organs, beetles and worms, and pain (but the more I avoid it, the more I get it!)!

BTW mulching seems fun. I've never mulched so I don't know much about it!

Bangchik said...

Mulch is the way, so friendly to the soil, even earthworms will surface to check if rain is coming....

Carlin said...

What about Clowns? :D Especially clowns with balloons... Clowns with balloons invading your garden to mulch close to the house!

Edith Hope said...

Dear Kyna, I am with you on so much of this. Mascots, balloons and mobile telephones used on public transport to tell everyone that they are on the bus, the train, the tram, will, when my government comes to power, be BANNED outright [along with caravans and off the road vehicles used ON the road].

Mulching is something of a vexed question. Used sensibly around a plant or plants to feed and conserve moisture, then it has my vote. Used willy nilly as an excuse not to weed or garden, and resulting in every border looking a complete mess, then it too would rank highly in my list of things to avoid.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I've really only ever mulched with compost. The bark type always made me wonder if it would attract things like termites or Carpenter ants so I understand that. Here we have the exact opposite problem with the soil now, wet and soggy.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I'd much rather communicate via email. I usually look at the phone with disdain when it rings.

I'm not phobic about much...although that creepy lurking balloon thing was a bit disturbing. As for mulch, I think it's good to have a cautious respect for mulch. After all, too much is bad. Harboring rodents, fungi, and your nasty termites. A little though I'm sure was appreciated by your poor tree's sweltering feet!

Dirt Digger said...

My biggest fear - heights - I would rather swallow a tarantula whole than go up in a hot air balloon

My strangest fear - ventriloquist dummies, there was on Romper Room when I was a child and still can't get him out of my head.

Awesome post as usual!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I am also afraid of those balloons which float and follow you around. As for the mulch, I am not a fan of it either. If I can avoid it in some areas in the garden, I will. Great post Kyna!

Kyna said...

FG: Oh, what our husbands have to put up with! LOL I can't even call for pizza :P

Turling: You have a haircut aversion? I have this vision of you walking around like Cousin Itt..only a pair of hands with gardening gloves sticking out :P

Aaron: Human organs? lol I like that one. I don't like touching animal organs. I always get my husband to take them out of the turkey first when I'm about to roast one. Yet, human ones wouldn't bother me much. I took most of my university education in forensic study :D

Bangchik: Well, I'm definitely going to use it a little more now, on the garden I have in the rear of my yard. I think I'll have some happy earthworms ;)

Carlin: You're evil. I'm going to have nightmares now. LOL

Edith: I definitely would vote you in as World Prime Minister. Not only would there be no cell phones, mascots or ballons, but there would also be no men wearing brown socks with sandals, and there would be taxi-side champagne service for everyone :D

Catherine: I know, I can't believe how much rain other parts of the country are getting. Last night, Iw as working in Jacksonville, which is about 30 min from where I live. POURING thunderstorms for about an hour. Parking lot was flooded. Chuck said that not a drop of rain touched our yard a half hour away. I was so sad lol

CVF: Not only is soft compost less harbouring of these ugly things, but it's also more friendly to handle. I always seem to get splinters from the bark mulch, or stabbed under the fingernails with it. Bleah.

Digger: Bro, I'd rather be DANGLED from a hot air balloon than even HOLD a tarantula LOL. Potato, potahto. :D Romper Room, eh? LOL I remember that show. Never watched it though. Maybe because I was subconsciously afraid of the ventriloquist dummy? LOL

Tatyana: I'm so glad that I'm not the only one. I thought I'd be flamed for it LOL

Ellada said...

Spiders, heights and dark, what are my fears.
Love your post.

The Idiot Gardener said...

I hate telephones.

That's about it really, telephones ... and cats. Yep, just telephones and cats; oh wait, vegetarians. I hate them too. And albinos. Tall people who think they deserve respect for being tall. Children. I cannot abide children. Or red cars. Or stock cubes. I hate television as well. And eskimos. Dentists. Where do they get off? Just because they've studied for years doesn't give them a right to tell me how often to brush my teeth. Crows. Sailors, I hate those bastards. And smiley people. Sticks. They really annoy me, and bicycles.

That's it though. And car stickers that aren't funny. And people who talk to dogs in baby voices. And people that talk to dogs at all. And dogs. And people.

Heather said...

You go, girl! Your post was quite amusing - it's fun to check in on ya and see what you're up to! Have a great day - happy Summer!!!

Kimberly said...

Kyna, don't fret. We all have our phobias. However, I kinda like the phones in your photo...pretty cool. My daughter has a fuzzy Phone with bling all over it. FUN! I'd love a shell phone like the one in Desperately Seeking Susan. I can make one. I digress. Back to your mulch issue. I mulch, but only 1/2 way. We're slowly but surely changing to river rock which I really like. I've also collected shells and mulch with's free and looks great. I wonder about the calcium, though. Regardless, it's a bit of a necessary evil, especially in the dog days of summer when the rain holds out and the sun is HOT!

GardenJoy4Me said...

Did you notice I am working backwards on reading your posts ? I think that says a lot about me ? hahaha .. OK .. say it .. BACKWARDS and dyslexic ? DAMN !!!
The phone thing .. how many ways (again with that expression) can I say ME TOO !!!! you should see our faces here .. husband and I .. when the phone rings .. we both say DON'T ANSWER THAT .. LET THE MACHINE PICK UP !!!! .. so I think you get the drift right ?
How in the name of god do you survive that HEAT girl !!! .. I started sweating just with your description .. lord ... it is true .. "all south of here, aka Canada ... is ... HELL !!! LOL
Stop cracking me up girl .. it is dangerous to my health .. and this chair is taking a beating to boot ! LOL
Joy ;-)

Meredith said...

I have a heights thing, but I wouldn't call it a phobia exactly. I do try and push myself occasionally. ;) You should definitely not try and watch The Red Balloon.

I just found out a week ago, once it was way too late, that this small town we live in makes mulch available for free in spring. They put a pile of it in the bus depot parking lot, and it's good, sweet compost provided by the extension service. I even saw it there and lusted after it, not knowing I could have gone and grabbed some with no consequences. Argh! Anyway, maybe your local extension service will have something nifty like that.

I do hate bark mulch for many reasons -- and I had no idea termites were a possibility. Thanks for the tip!