Mulch Is The Best Mulch For A Vegetable Garden

Mulch Is The Best Mulch For A Vegetable Garden

In my raised vegetable beds, I use mulch every time. When asked about my favorite type of mulch, I admit that I do not stick with one. All of my preferred choices are natural, organic products. Rubber, plastics, stones, and shells are all mulches. However, they do not break down over time to improve the soil in my garden.

Mulch application is an important step, but it’s often overlooked. Natural mulch applied in a layer about 2 or 3 inches thick will help suppress weeds and prevent erosion and compaction. It also retains moisture and acts as a barrier to pathogens and plants.

Mulch Is The Best Mulch For A Vegetable Garden
Mulch Is The Best Mulch For A Vegetable Garden

Arborist Wood Chip Mulch

I occasionally use wood chips as mulch, but not any wood chips. I use arborist wood chip mulch, which is the product of tree services who remove branches and old trees. Arborist wood chips, unlike many bagged mulches are free from pallet wood and dyes.

Wood chip mulch is perfect for ornamental plants, but I use it only rarely in my vegetable garden. Wood chip mulch can be heavy. This weight will prevent the seeds from germinating that are directly planted in the garden. It’s also not my favourite look in the yard, which may be as important to you as it is to me.

The price of the mulch arborists use is free. Many tree service companies will give away wood chips for free because disposing of them can be expensive. You also benefit from this, as they save money on tipping and transportation fees. can be used to get you on a list of companies that offer free mulch delivery. Be aware that there is a large minimum order.

The decomposition of wood chips in the mulch improves the soil. It will not deplete the soil of its nitrogen if it is simply laid over the soil.

Straw Mulch

Straw is my favorite mulch because it covers a lot for the money you spend, it’s lightweight, and easy to spread. It’s important to use a lightweight mulch when starting seeds. It’s important to use a lightweight mulch when starting seeds.

Straw can still be used at the end. The straw will decompose, adding nutrients and organic matter to the soil. You can also add the straw to your compost pile if that is what you prefer.

There is a big difference between straw and hay. Hay bales can contain seeds you don’t wish to introduce to your garden.

Shredded Leaf Mulch
Shredded Leaf Mulch

Shredded Leaf Mulch

Shredded leaves is the mulch I use most frequently. They are easy to use and they are free every fall. My leaves are pesticide-free and decompose to make a wonderful soil amendment.

You can shred leaves with a string trimmer or a mulching lawn mower. The string trimmer works, but it is cumbersome and can lead to arm fatigue when shredding a lot of bags.

A bladeless electrical leaf mulcher is more convenient than raking leaves up or using a string trimmer. Plug it in, and then drop the leaves in. The volume will go from 11 to 1.

Pine Bark Mulch

Mulch or soil conditioner is the name given to finely ground pine bark sold in bags. It doesn’t matter what it is called, I love that it is so fine and light. It’s also good for young seedlings and tender plants. It is easy to spread, and it quickly improves your soil.

Don’t worry if you think that pine bark will rob your soil of nitrogen. This is not a problem if the mulch is just placed on top of the soil. The carbon in pine bark only temporarily binds nitrogen in soil when it is mixed with the soil.

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