7 Different Kinds of Vegetable Garden Mulch
Using mulch in a vegetable garden has several benefits, all of which can be summed up by saying “they make gardening easier.” In this article I’m going to talk about 7 different kinds of mulch that are readily available and often much less expensive than the bark chips that are often sold in garden centers.
Vegetable Garden Mulch
1. Newspaper. Some people may be surprised to see this listed as a mulch. Yet when it is laid down first with a layer of a loose mulch on top it creates a nearly impenetrable barrier for weeds.
Use only the black newsprint with soy based ink, not the color printed paper most often used for ads.
2. Cardboard. This is similar to newspaper, it will also create a barrier for weeds. Adding a loose mulch on top of it will keep the cardboard from blowing away in the wind.
3. Grass Clippings. These are high nitrogen and can often be picked up from neighbors for free. Just sprinkle a one to two inch layer on top of the soil.
Make sure there wasn’t weed killer sprayed on the lawn recently. Lawn weed killer will kill most garden plants.
4. Straw. Just sprinkle a one to two inch layer on the soil.
5. Hay. This is similar to straw, only with more nitrogen, use a one to two inch layer.
One note about hay and straw. It is possible that the fields could have been treated with a weed killer that will kill most garden plants for up two years. The herbicides are called aminopyralid and clopyralid, if you can’t verify these chemicals weren’t used then don’t use the hay or straw on your garden.
6. Leaves. These are abundant during fall and can be used for the fall plants or just to cover bare beds over winter. A one to two inch layer will work well.
7. Black plastic. This is most often used for warming the soil in spring. If it goes through a winter it will become brittle and break into small pieces.
That’s 7 of the most common vegetable garden mulches. All of them are effective at conserving water and suppressing weeds, all but the plastic also add organic matter and nutrients to the soil as they break down.
If your interested in learning more about easy and effective methods of gardening then…