If you have garden beds, you likely have weeds, or plants that are not growing as well as you think they should. Maybe you are concerned about keeping your soil healthy.
That is understandable because a key to low amounts of easy to pull weeds, and happy plants and soil is often overlooked or taken for granted. And when we don’t examine this one thing, all these potential garden bummers can happen, and usually do.
Many folks have an understanding they should mulch their garden beds, yet what I see are big misconceptions about mulch and how and when to use it. That is understandable since most of us just do what is fast and simple, usually whatever we see someone else doing, without given it much thought or attention. And this could be leading to some less than ideal practices for the plants in your garden and make more work for you.
What I’ve often seen is mulch used incorrectly for what plants need or want, often based on a visual preference that has nothing to do with the plants themselves. Negating what your plants need leads to them not thriving in your landscape. With some information and consideration, you can solve more than one thing with proper mulching.
Instead of simply hauling in a bunch of bagged mulch for everything, or not mulching at all, understanding mulches and their proper use can give you a big leg up not only on those weeds, but help your plants thrive and protect your valuable soil.
Using the right kind and amount of mulch can provide you:
- Less ways for weeds to take over
- Protect your soil
- Keep your plants in a better environment and
- Allow you more time
You might be pulling allot of hard to get at weeds in your garden and struggling to keep up. When I have had to weed an area with landscape fabric under shredded mulch, the landscape fabric becomes more of a weed anchor, with the roots embedded into the fabric, making it hard to get them out. Conversely, with the right depth and type of mulch for each space, the weeds can come out really fast and easy, cutting your weeding time in half or more.
Many folks know I am often talking about healthy living soil. Mulch is a supper important way to protect your soil from being washed away in a heavy rain or bleached by the sun. If you are like most folks, you have either made a time and work, or financial investment to build your garden soil, and keeping it covered with mulch is an insurance policy protecting that investment.
Plants generally don’t want to be left in a desert of dirt on their own. And different types of plants prefer different types of mulch. This is one determining factor for choosing what mulch you will use where. Another is what you have locally for free. Using your resources will help you keep your garden budget down. Keeping your soil covered will not only help your soil thrive, as we have discovered, but also help your plants thrive.
Many times I have spoken with students or clients who one of these issued and mulch was their solution. Stephanie comes to mind, who has a community garden plot. She used hardwood mulch that was available at her plot location to help smother and keep at bay some pretty darn thick weeds that had taken over the plot prior to her taking it over. Then there is Andrea, who didn’t know it was good to mulch her annual vegetable beds and blueberry bushes and had lamented the high quality organic compost she had trucked in, was being washed away by heavy rains. When she added mulches, her plants did much better and she kept her valuable soil in place.
This is why I often say,” When you seek professional gardening advise, and get training, you overcome the blind spots to your garden success.”
To expand and provide you more information on mulching that I can put in one blog post, I have created a short mini-course called “A Deep Dive Into Mulch – How and Why to Mulch Your Garden and Your Landscape”.
It may be a deep dive, but it is still a pretty short course because I value your time. It includes pros, cons and information on all different types of mulches and what mulches different types of plants like to thrive. If you want more info on correctly using mulches, and types of mulches so you weed less, and your plants and soil thrive. Check it out.
Have an awesome garden day, Debby