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Last Updated on June 24, 2019 by Ellen Christian
Now is the time to start thinking about mulch. We have fruit trees, berry bushes, herb gardens and flower gardens. All of them require constant care and mulch during the summer months if they’re going to produce and be happy. As much as I love gardening, I have no desire to spend all of my days weeding. This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
Thinking About Mulch
Weeding is not one of my favorite garden tasks to do. Just the thought of spending hours out in the garden picking out weeds from around my flowers and herbs makes my back ache. It’s important to keep the weeds out of your garden because they compete with the plants you want for food and nutrients from the soil. It seems like I can have my garden completely weed free and the next morning when I look outside the weeds have magically appeared again everywhere!
One of the ways you can prevent weeds from taking over your garden is by using mulch. Mulch not only keeps the weeds down in your garden but it also helps keep the moisture in. This limits how much you have to water your garden which is great not only for your water bill but also for conserving water in the hotter months when some areas have water rationing.
Not all varieties of mulch are created equally. Here are a few tips that will help you choose the best type.
Type of Mulch
The most common type of mulch is bark mulch. That’s the type I see at my local grocery and hardware stores. However, there is also stone mulch which can be used to help with drainage. Or, if you’re looking for for a long-lasting, eco-friendly type of mulch, you can purchase mulch that’s been made from reclaimed tires. Of course, you can also create your own mulch by composting leaves – called leaf mulch. Straw will also work to mulch your vegetable garden.
I generally choose bark mulch that’s naturally colored so it ends up being brown. I prefer the natural look so that works for me. However, you can purchase red or black mulch that has been dyed. If you choose to work with dyed mulch, please wear gardening gloves as the mulch will stain your hands. Also, don’t use dyed mulch on food you’ll be eating to avoid ingesting the dyes.
You’ll want to use between 4 and 6 inches of mulch on top of the bare ground. Too little and the weeds will find their way through. Too much and you’re throwing away money that you could be spending on more flowers. Remember to remove the old much before adding the new mulch to keep the look consistent and discourage pests.
Tip for Dog Owners
If you have a dog, or dogs roam freely in your neighborhood, avoid cocoa bean mulch. Cocoa bean mulch contains theobromine and caffeine just like chocolate does. And, it’s toxic to dogs. It can cause vomiting, seizures, tremors and even death. Choose another type of mulch for your garden just in case.
Now that you’re thinking about mulch, what type works best for you?
Ellen is a busy mom of a 22-year-old son and 27-year-old daughter. She owns 5 blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.