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March 28, 2008


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If only I had enough compost! I'll get there someday - I just have to be patient. I wish I could find a nice local farmer with piles of rotted manure ready for my utility trailer :) I thought about gravel mulch once, but can't imagine trying to clean the debris off all the time, and my soil needs amending.

Doug Wagner

I hear you on the red shale. Awful stuff to work with or remove (it is sharp, cuts up your gloves, difficult to shovel) and after a few years it breaks down to sand and allows weeds to grow.

I like the bark mulch so far. We get a lot of weed seeds blowing in so not sure if just compost will work. About 30 yards of compost and 50 of mulch to spread so good thing the season is starting out early.

Happy gardening.

Janice Miller-Young

Hi Doug,
Wow, thats a lot of spreading youve got to do! 
Youre right, the bark mulch will keep weeds down better than compost.  I guess it depends on your specific needs.  My garden is mostly perennials that get big enough later in the season that they keep the weeds down just by shading the soil.  I still do a little weeding but not a lot.
Happy spreading,


Hi Janice,

I'm looking to get rid of a lot of red shale here in Calgary. Do I have any options other than trucking it all off to the landfill? I'd love to be able to try and sell it, but it's fairly mixed with mulch and debris.


I have used red shale to fill the bottoms of large planters. Seems to be good for drainage.


I have a couple of simple flower beds that run along the front of my house, I have recently planted perennials and looking for a ground cover, mulch or bark chips to keep the neighbourhood cats out. I have to keep the soil covered year round or the cats will come back. What do you suggest, (cedar)mulch or bark chips? I understand I might have to "thin" it out for the summer time, this is not a problem.

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