Vertical mulching questions

I have been starting to research vertical mulching techniques. I was reading about the negative aspect of glazing when using an auger. I am wondering if anyone uses this technique and has come up with a way of avoiding glazing, like using something sharp to score the sides of the holes. I'm sure most who do vertical mulching probably use some sort of air tool.
If anyone is doing vertical mulching, what are you backfilling with?
 

Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
What is glazing?
Glazing is something that often happens when boring a hole with an auger, as the auger rotates rapidly against the sides of the hole compacting them to a burnished/glazed appearance that is almost as impermeable as concrete.

Personally, I’ve never seen it happen on holes that are relatively shallow as compared to their depth - i.e. planting holes - but when boring post holes, especially in soil with a high clay content, it happens all the time.
 

Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
Ah yeah I had a feeling it was something like that. Seems like it’d be more common with wet clay soils?
I don’t have any studies on the matter to say one way or the other, but I would expect so. Clay for sure will be worse than loam and far worse than sand, but wet clay probably would be the worse. I’m not sure if you would ever prove it though, the last guy who tried is still trying to pull his auger back out of the muck he got it stuck in when he tried to drill wet clay!
 

Chaplain242

Branched out member
Depends on depth, and if drilling by hand or machine. If using by hand, moving the auger in an arc as you drill the auger can oblong and scour the hole. Deeper holes can’t really do that, but mulching would be max depth of about 2 foot anyways yes?
 

Chaplain242

Branched out member
If I was going to do vertical mulching and all I had was an auger, I'd include the price of an air-spade in the cost of the job, buy an air spade and leave the auger at the shop. #screwaugering

could always to water excavation too if clay content not too high...
 
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ATH

Been here a while
Location
Ohio
Ah yeah I had a feeling it was something like that. Seems like it’d be more common with wet clay soils?
All we have here is clay. If it is not wet, you'll break both arms trying to get a hand auger into it.

Yes, glazing is a problem. In planting holes, if we auger (don't often), we break up the walls with a shovel after it is drilled. Maybe the oblong motion would do that to some degree with vertical mulching. Never stop vertical movement - either up or down when the drill is spinning will help too...but not eliminate it all together.

AirKnife or Air Spade really is a great tool for this...
 

Zacchaeus

New member
Location
Jasper
Used to use an auger, but glazing CAN be an issue, especially in heavy, compacted, clay soils (like the kind that you are aerating in the first place, right?) I've heard where people have gone back later and were able to pull up the compost plug from the smooth auger hole. That's not the goal. Not to mention you can nail roots or irrigation lines, internet, gas lines, etc...
I use Air-Knife. Hands down better.
My $0.02
 
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