Use of mulch in Japan

Finding land, working a small plot or anything else countryside related
czaujapman
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:32 pm
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 22 times

Use of mulch in Japan

Post by czaujapman »

To mulch or not? Yay or nay?
Mulching overseas is widespread, mainly around trees and paths to stop evaporation and grass growth and for aesthetics. The problem I had in Australia was the garden needed lots of mulch and so it's gotten fairly expensive really quickly.

Here in Japan family has plenty of old trees and wood ready to be shredded, including few areas with bamboo which seems to be great for mulching. So getting a good shredder and using the wood-chips around trees seems to be a no-brainer.

I guess my question is are there any cons to using mulch in Japan's climate that I may not be aware of?
Obviously it rains here much more, it is fairly humid so would mushroom or some sort of tree-rot be an issue if using mulch?

Thanks!
“My technique is don’t believe anything. If you believe in something, you are automatically precluded from believing its opposite.” ― Terence McKenna

Tora
Posts: 369
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:53 am
Has thanked: 261 times
Been thanked: 771 times

Use of mulch in Japan

Post by Tora »

Good shredders seem to be quite expensive.

I thought wood mulch can attract termites. Not something you want around your house or other wood frame buildings. I’d think bamboo would be great mulch.

User avatar
DocDoesFarming
Posts: 951
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:26 am
Location: 福島県
Has thanked: 861 times
Been thanked: 921 times

Use of mulch in Japan

Post by DocDoesFarming »

Bare in mind that if you want to chip bamboo it has to be relatively freshly cut bamboo, I wish I knew this before cutting an entire field down because I was planning on chipping it but I left it way too late and they all hardened.
I write a load of bollocks, don't take me seriously.

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 4725
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 4241 times
Been thanked: 3558 times

Use of mulch in Japan

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Rice straw makes a good mulch and can usually be gathered up for free, you just have to ask your local rice farmer to set the combine so it doesn't chop the straw up as it exits the combine. Rice husks also make a good mulch if you don't live in an area with continuous high winds.

You might be able to hire a good shredder rather than buying one if you have a local tool hire nearby. Unless you are doing a lot of shredding the cost of a good one isn't worthwhile.

Cons to using wood as a mulch might be termites living in it but possibly ants running around the mulch would limit that ? Most of the fungi that will colonise it will be types that feed on dead wood but just to be on the safe side don't lay it in direct contact with tree trunks.

donguri
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:57 am
Location: Aichi
Has thanked: 663 times
Been thanked: 403 times

Use of mulch in Japan

Post by donguri »

I make my own wood chips and use them on the walking paths in my hatake. Sometimes a few mushrooms pop up but nothing problematic.

For the actual vegetable beds I use momigara (rice hulls), wara (rice straw), dry leaves, sorghum leaves and stalks, and some long leafy grasses (weeds) that grow around here aplenty. Whatever is available :lol:

The slugs can be a problem- the mulch gives them a moist place to hang out and then they proceed to mow down lettuce seedlings.

User avatar
gonbechan
Founder
Founder
Posts: 2103
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 am
Has thanked: 2750 times
Been thanked: 1496 times

Use of mulch in Japan

Post by gonbechan »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Tue Aug 16, 2022 5:55 am
You might be able to hire a good shredder rather than buying one if you have a local tool hire nearby. Unless you are doing a lot of shredding the cost of a good one isn't worthwhile.

However if you are big on online shopping... a shredder gets all those pesky cardboard boxes very ready to go on the compost.

czaujapman
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:32 pm
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 22 times

Use of mulch in Japan

Post by czaujapman »

I usually just remove any remaining plastic tape from the cardboard and lay it along garden beds/paths, weigh it down with stones.
We used old cardboard boxes a lot in Australia after digging down to about 10 cm, laying it down then put soil on top & 10 cm of woodchip/mulch. Worked well for about 2yrs before weeds started coming back.
“My technique is don’t believe anything. If you believe in something, you are automatically precluded from believing its opposite.” ― Terence McKenna

User avatar
Eric in Japan
Posts: 297
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:21 pm
Has thanked: 244 times
Been thanked: 528 times

Use of mulch in Japan

Post by Eric in Japan »

I mulch EVERYTHING and have for 4 years now. I used to bag my lawnmower clippings and use that- a pain in the behind but grass melts down into such a nice blanket mulch. I used rice straw- also great, but very long. I used rice hulls- did not like it. Soba hulls- great mulch, looks beautiful. Now I use chipped bamboo.
DocDoesFarming wrote:
Mon Aug 15, 2022 10:42 pm
Bare in mind that if you want to chip bamboo it has to be relatively freshly cut bamboo, I wish I knew this before cutting an entire field down because I was planning on chipping it but I left it way too late and they all hardened.
My chipper only chips old, hard bamboo LOL. But man does it ever chip! It's a Kyocera (Ryobi) GS-2020. A gear type, not a spinning wheel of death type. Here are some photos/videos of it in action and what I have used it for.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/3JYgDrW253fTKMWD7
About 33,000 yen on Rakuten.
I take old gray/brown Moso bamboo, chop it into meter long lenghts and use my bamboo splitter, then I just feed them into the beast (it only takes up to about 5cm wide splits of bamboo, or 3cm round tree branches). I have made about 3 cubic meters of chips so far. I have mulched almost every tree and bush I have, and made a keyhole herb garden mulched with--- bamboo chips!
If I feed it green bamboo, it just crimps it without making any chips. I think that is because it is a gear type.
I highly recommend this machine if you want to make chips and have more time than money. Seriously, it is awesome.
"... so, the cucumbers said to the cabbage, `Lettuce Go.`"

User avatar
DocDoesFarming
Posts: 951
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:26 am
Location: 福島県
Has thanked: 861 times
Been thanked: 921 times

Use of mulch in Japan

Post by DocDoesFarming »

Eric in Japan wrote:
Sat Aug 27, 2022 5:51 pm
I mulch EVERYTHING and have for 4 years now. I used to bag my lawnmower clippings and use that- a pain in the behind but grass melts down into such a nice blanket mulch. I used rice straw- also great, but very long. I used rice hulls- did not like it. Soba hulls- great mulch, looks beautiful. Now I use chipped bamboo.
DocDoesFarming wrote:
Mon Aug 15, 2022 10:42 pm
Bare in mind that if you want to chip bamboo it has to be relatively freshly cut bamboo, I wish I knew this before cutting an entire field down because I was planning on chipping it but I left it way too late and they all hardened.
My chipper only chips old, hard bamboo LOL. But man does it ever chip! It's a Kyocera (Ryobi) GS-2020. A gear type, not a spinning wheel of death type. Here are some photos/videos of it in action and what I have used it for.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/3JYgDrW253fTKMWD7
About 33,000 yen on Rakuten.
I take old gray/brown Moso bamboo, chop it into meter long lenghts and use my bamboo splitter, then I just feed them into the beast (it only takes up to about 5cm wide splits of bamboo, or 3cm round tree branches). I have made about 3 cubic meters of chips so far. I have mulched almost every tree and bush I have, and made a keyhole herb garden mulched with--- bamboo chips!
If I feed it green bamboo, it just crimps it without making any chips. I think that is because it is a gear type.
I highly recommend this machine if you want to make chips and have more time than money. Seriously, it is awesome.
That thing is amazing! That's definitely a job for winter time, I'll have to go buy one of those now.
I also need to build myself a pac-man bed.
I write a load of bollocks, don't take me seriously.

donguri
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:57 am
Location: Aichi
Has thanked: 663 times
Been thanked: 403 times

Use of mulch in Japan

Post by donguri »

Eric in Japan wrote:
Sat Aug 27, 2022 5:51 pm

My chipper only chips old, hard bamboo LOL. But man does it ever chip! It's a Kyocera (Ryobi) GS-2020. A gear type, not a spinning wheel of death type. Here are some photos/videos of it in action and what I have used it for.

If I feed it green bamboo, it just crimps it without making any chips. I think that is because it is a gear type.
I highly recommend this machine if you want to make chips and have more time than money. Seriously, it is awesome.
I have the same Ryobi unit and I love it! When Mr. donguri first found it and suggested it, I scoffed because it looked so compact and toylike, compared to the giant gas-engine spinning wheel of death machine that I was using at the local Ringyo Center. However, the chipping ability is no different than that giant noisy machine, it is far easier to use and doesn't break down constantly. I haven't tried it on bamboo, but on certain types of green branches it does as Eric said and just crimps them.

The portability of the unit is also a great feature-I don't have to haul all the branches to the chipper. I can take the chipper to the branches, and either run an extension cord or if I'm going up in the field, just put it in the K-truck along with the generator.

I'm excited to try bamboo chips!