Should You Mulch?

Have you ever wondered why it seems like you’re growing more weeds than veggies in your garden? More importantly, are you tired of the back breaking labor of pulling those weeds out of the ground?

Have you ever noticed that your soil is drying out very quickly, leading to sad and wilted plants?

Well then let me ask you something: Do you have bare soil in your garden?

Mother Nature likes to be covered, she’s a modest lady. She’ll do whatever it takes to cover up – including growing those dreaded weeds. So why don’t we help her out with a little covering (also called mulch)?

Mulch 101:

From Merriam-Webster – mulcha protective covering (as of sawdust, compost, or paper) spread or left on the ground to reduce evaporation, maintain even soil temperature, prevent erosion, control weeds, enrich the soil, or keep fruit (such as strawberries) clean

What to use?

As you may have noticed from the definition above, there is no one true ‘mulch’. Your mind may immediately go to the stuff you can get at big box stores. The dyed, shredded wood we’ve seen our parents and neighbors use in their flower gardens for years and years. There are, however, so many more options!

Here are a few off the top of my head:

-Straw

-Chipped trees

-Leaf litter (fallen, dead leaves)

-Green mulch (fresh cut grass, other yard wastes)

-Compost

I covered my garden in the very beginning with leaf litter. It’s all I had on hand. It wasn’t pretty, sure; but it worked and that’s all that matters in the beginning!

Why though?

Mulch is extremely important to your garden!

It helps cut down on evaporation of water from the soil – something your plants dearly need. And, if you’re in a drier zone it will help you save and hold on to that precious resource.

You will also see a drastic reduction in weeds! If the seeds can’t reach the soil, they can’t grow. A nice deep mulch is the best weed barrier you can have.

Remember this: if you leave mother nature uncovered – she will find a way to do it herself.

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