Much Ado About Mulch
What can transform the landscape AND cut garden water usage by 30-50 percent? Mulch – one of Evergreen Nursery’s favorite themes – does this and much, much more.
Mulch is (usually) organic material – decaying leaves, bark or compost – spread between plants in a landscape. It looks great while holding in precious moisture and preventing erosion; it insulates and protects plants in weather extremes. Mulching builds up the soil and discourages weeds.
It’s relatively pain-free and allows for individuality through the many choices: shredded cedar, bark, rock, sawdust, paper, cardboard, black plastic. We have many in bag or bulk form, available here at the nursery. Here are a few tips to make the most of your mulching this year:
Start with good soil built up with humus, fertilizer and other amendments to foster a complete, living environment for your plants’ roots.
Get the ground as weed-free as possible. At this time, you can apply a pre-emergent herbicide around non-food plants.
Too much mulch injures plants by keeping the soil too wet and limiting available oxygen to the roots. A couple inches is about right; don’t exceed four inches and leave some breathing room around stems.
Occasionally, dig down through the mulch to make sure the soil has sufficient moisture and that it’s not harboring pests.
Some mulches can leach nitrogen from the soil or alter its pH. Help replenish and balance the soil in your vegetable garden by planting a cover crop between seasons and rotating the location of where you plant certain vegetables each year. You can also add lime to help balance pH.
Vegetables and other temporary plantings have different needs than permanent plantings; we can help you select the right mulch for your garden.
Time and effort put into mulching now will pay off in “spades” the rest of the year – and beyond!