Mulch is defined as, any material, either organic or synthetic, which is placed on the soil around plants to reduce the effect of moisture loss and to control weeds and erosion.
While synthetic mulch is readily available from most garden centers,
with the exception of black plastic sheeting, it is seldom used in the
home vegetable garden.
Every system has its disadvantages, and mulching is no exception. Because mulching creates a living Eco-system unfortunately it can also provide some of the less plant friendly members a very nice home. A slight change of tactic, like growing plants bigger before planting or using protection for vulnerable plant might be necessary to outwit these less desirable creatures.
Some of the more common organic materials used for mulching are in the table below.
|Common Organic Materials Used For Garden Mulch|
|Pine Needles||Rice Hulls||Sawdust|
|Stable-Barn bedding||Straw||Wood Bark|
|Wood Chip||Wood Shavings||x|
Everywhere and all the time, cover the garden the paths waste areas and all the little crooks and crannies.
If you don't mother nature will, we call that, over grown with weeds. Applying mulch material to the garden cuts down weeding, conserves moisture, returns to the soil much of the organic matter that is depleted daily in a working vegetable garden. Your plants will also thank you for it.
Almost any type of organic material can be used for mulching in and around the vegetable garden. Follow this link to find the best uses for the many different types of organic material available.
Pine bark mulch has quite a few uses in the garden but until it has been well decomposed it is best keep off the vegetable garden growing areas
Pine straw mulch is the leaf or pine needle of the pine tree. It was once believed that pine needles acidify the soil, this is a gardening myth and like all myths very hard to dispel.
Paper mulch including cardboard are one of the best weed suppressing mulches you can use in the vegetable garden.
Straw mulch is a by-product of harvesting grains and although it is extremely dry and mostly carbon, is one of the best and most often used organic materials for vegetable gardens.
When purchasing this type of mulch read the label properly, hardwood bark mulch, and hardwood mulch, are not usually the same product
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