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      Selkirk's Bi-Monthly Newsletter:  Volume 95

June / July 2020


From the desk of Carl Rantzow



Getting Up to Speed



   As you may know, landscape companies were among the first, to fully start up services a few weeks ago.  Since then we have brought all of our winter crew back and in the past couple weeks, hired on a few more. Once we get a couple more people trained to lead crews, we will be able to bring on a couple more.


   We are still staggering start times with crews and bleaching the high touch items around the shop and in the trucks.  Hopefully the worse of Covid19 is behind us and we can figure out ways to deal with it, till a we get immunities built up.


   We are now trying to get caught up with the normal spring rush of growth and renewed interest in our yards.  Once we get over the hump, we should be able to resume some of the special projects we have in the works.





Benefits of Mulch



   Many landscapes utilize mulch in the beds.  Around Spokane, mulch usually comes in the form of bark.  The reason being, is that its very effective and relatively inexpensive.


   Since we have miles of forest land and several sawmills in our area, we have an abundance of bark mulch.  We’ve got to get rid of it somehow, why not put it in our beds?  It’s a great way to put one of the byproducts of the timber industry to work.


   I don’t know about you, but I think bark looks great in beds.  That’s probably the number one reason people use it.  The second reason is that it suppresses weeds.  Bark is full of air spaces and doesn’t have anything for seeds to grow in.  It blocks the sunlight from reaching the soil so weeds can’t grow.  You will still get some weeds that come up but it can easily cut 75 percent of you weed problem out.  Bark is a very effective weed blocker.


   Another important function of bark is that it helps to stabilize soil temperatures.  That’s important in Spokane with 100-degree annual temperature swings. The air pockets in the bark layer act as insulation.  It will help protect your roots from severe cold temps in January and help keep soil temperatures cooler on the hot days of August.  Your plants will love you for it.


   Bark comes in a few sizes.  Fine, medium, and nugget. Fine works best if you have a lot of leaf litter or ponderosa pine needles, because its easy to rake through without removing much bark.


  The medium really looks nice but hard to clean up. The nugget looks nice too.  This stuff is run through a sifter to get rid of all the super fine material

and just leave the bark nuggets.   Because of this extra processing it costs quite a bit more.


   Bark comes in a couple different colors or tones too.  There’s the fresh, which is fresh from the mill.  It is bright and has quite a bit of red tone to it.  The other is the dark.  It is usually last year’s bark that has been allowed to weather and naturally darken up.


   I have also seen bark for sale that has obviously been died.  It usually looks pretty bad, because the color is almost fluorescent.


   Bark is a great material for your beds.  It is also the ultimate “green” material.  It allows us to use less pesticide, moderate soil temperatures, and recycle a byproduct of the local forest industry.


Thank you for choosing Selkirk Landscape Services!!


Congratulations 2020 Graduates!!









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