What are the benefits of mulching?
* Mulch is great for weed control for the vegetable garden. Less weeding is great any time, in any kind of garden.
* Mulch is a good way to conserve the moisture in the ground for the vegetable garden. Less watering but the plants thrive.
* Mulch keeps the soil cool when the weather is hot, hot, hot. If the soil is cool so are the roots of the plants in the vegetable garden that are grown under that mulch.
* Mulch in the vegetable garden is a protection for those low growing plants like squash, beans, melons from getting dirty and water spotted.
* Mulch can give a longer season for vegetables like Okra, eggplant, and peppers.
* Mulch can add to the soil after the growing season is over by tilling it into the soil to add to the richness of the soil for the next growing season if it is organic such as grass clippings, leaves, bark chips, sawdust, peat moss, cedar chips, straw. You get the point. Great for next time you plant your vegetable garden.
* Mulch keeps your plants from wilting in your vegetable garden. It keeps the moisture in the ground, not drying out.
The best time to mulch is after a good rain storm. You want moisture in the ground before putting down the mulch. Do it before the weather gets really hot.
Different kinds of mulch are:
* Grass clippings
* Leaves ( fall)
* Newspapers ( if it is used in the vegetable garden, do not use pages that have the colored ink. It adds things to the food that you do not want, but the zinc in the ink will help prevent weeds.)
Put down 3 alternating layers of single newspaper sheets, add 3 inches of grass clippings on top of that. This keeps the paper in place.
* If you put a layer of cedar chips down first then any of the other mulching material on top of that. The cedar chips will keep the bugs away. Just like in the closet.
* Pear moss
* Bark mulch
* Black plastic is great for weed control. It is also great for keeping the moister in the ground.
It can go under any of these other mulches. This one is not the best for tilling into the soil after the growing season is over. Place it on the row that you are planting, cut an x for the area that the plant will be placed. This help with the weeds and moisture in the soil.
* If you have a paper shredder and you want a place to put it. The garden is a great place. It also becomes mulch just like the newspaper does.
* Cardboard great for pathways
* Pine needles for plants that like a bit of acid like rhododendrons, azaleas, and blueberries.
Most of these things do not cost you money. You already have most of them in without paying a dime for them.
Mulch is also great for protecting tender plants from the hard winters storms and wind.
copyright Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"