How to Mulch

by Daniel
(Spring Grove, IL.)

How to mulch and why might be some questions you are asking as the temperatures rise, and prospects of weeds loom in the horizon. Urban homesteader Daniel gives some great tips. - Editor

Well the first 90's of the year hit today, May 24th. This is about one month earlier than the weatherman relates. So I had to run out and buy some mulch/cover for my beds.

I could see the my plants starting to wither from the heat. So I paid $5.00 for a bale of straw from a nursery. I almost choked on the price - I think my face did some gymnastics. But I threw it in the trunk of my car and drove home.

How to Mulch
Adding Mulch to Your Garden

When I got home, I had to vacuum out the trunk. What a mess. Then I spread out half of the bale on to my garden beds after my wife watered the veggies.

Hay Versus Straw

I used straw as a mulch/cover before and have had good luck. The one problem with straw is that it is sterile; it will not add any composting/fertilizer benefit. Last year I found some moldy hay and had a nice season and good harvest, which I picked up off the side of the road next to a farm.

Benefits of Mulching

I should still get the benefit of using a mulch/cover for my beds and those benefits are keeping the weeds down, better water retention and soil protection. I could not imagine a growing season with any mulch/cover. It is that important.

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