It is so true that there is never enough mulch, especially for the veggie gardens at our home. Mulching is just one of “those things” to do automatically when gardening. For example; when transplanting outside in the Spring I always add mature compost as a mulch to plants such as tomatoes and kale. Even with three large compost bins and using (non chemical) grass clippings in the spring there is just never enough mulch for the gardens. Read on for more ideas:
The benefits of mulching are that it prevents
the evaporation of soil moisture by stopping the wind from
blowing directly on the soil and the sun from shining on it
& prevents weed growth"
~ John Seymour "The Self Sufficient Gardener
WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT MULCH GARDENING?
Thank you for asking ...
- There are so many benefits to gardening and when making a list always think of something else to add. Here’s a few to start:
- It’s good to be outside both for the fresh air and the sunshine (Vitamin D )
- There always seems to be a lot of steps involved in gardening and its amazing how many thousand you can “walk up” in a few hours outside in the fresh air – so overall better for your health and bones
- Whether you realize it or not it helps relieve stress and anxiety if you are outside
- Even after an hour or two outside gardening I always seem happier and more relaxed when the day is over
- So there you have it a few ideas of ways to increase your physical and mental health
- Fast forward to Harvest in later Summer / early Fall and picking (and eating) a fresh tomato or a sweet juicy strawberry (chemical free) from the garden is an absolute joy. And a fresh just picked kale salad is unmatched in nutrition and taste.
- Note: do not use clippings, etc for your garden composts & gardens if they have been sprayed with chemicals
Slugs & Snails: (can be a problem in a mulched garden)
The body of snails & slugs is soft & highly sensitive to sharp objects
such as sand ... & wood ashes & will serve as an effective barrier against them"
~ "The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening" Rodale Press
KIDS, PLANTS & GARDENING
If you have room make a space for a kids and or grandkids garden to grow radish or lettuce, etc. More favourites are :
- Scarlet runner Beans and Sugar Snap Peas
- One of my grandchildren loves picking fresh chives in the garden in Spring. You just never know
- .. and always strawberries and blueberries!
The Kids Garden does not have to be huge and everything they grow does not have to be edible. This year I hope to plant some sunflowers and nasturtium plants, which are edible (for kids & birds) and maybe some cherry tomatoes in containers on the sunny deck
"I love spring anywhere,
buy if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden."
Ruth Stout - an all-time favourite quote
Here are the main kinds of mulch I use:
- Spring: Mature compost for transplanting
- Summer: Grass clippings and hay
- Fall: More grass clippings and ALL the Fall leaves you can collect (no chemicals)
- Anytime: Dry Wood Shavings, especially on paths
Remember when you mulch:
- Plants and the birds and bees are both fed
- Mulches keep the soil temperature more even
- They protect evaporation in the summer
- Keep down weeds
- and more ...
Hoping I have inspired you to try a little veggie gardening this year. Enjoy every day ~Liz