Mulching your flower and vegetable garden is a great way to suppress weeds, conserve water, prevent erosion, and regulate the temperature of your soil. In fact, mulching is probably the most time-saving measure you can take in your garden. There are many types of mulches - plastic, wood chips, pine needles, and straw, to name a few. So, which type is best for your garden? Here’s a mulching checklist to help you decide.
- Specifically, cucumbers, squash, melons, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers do very well when planted over a plastic mulch.
- Because they last so long, they are a good choice for walkways and perennial beds.
- They are acidic and therefore will lower your garden’s pH over time
- Be careful as some contain seeds that will sprout and grow in your garden.
- If these pests are a problem in your garden, straw might not be for you.
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Mulching Checklist Tips
- Mulch piled up against tree trunks or woody stems will encourage rodents, and could also cause the wood to rot. Keep organic mulches a few inches away from the base of these plants.
- Organic mulch retain moisture, which is a good thing, but the process can also slow soil warming. Each spring, pull the mulch away from your perennials, strawberries, and bulbs, and they will grow faster.
- Don’t use plastic mulch around trees or shrubs. Because water and air don’t penetrate through the plastic, the shrubs roots grow very close to the surface. The shallow roots will eventually cause the shrubs or trees to to decline and then die.