Mulch mulch mulch!

Now that our summer seems to be back on track, it is essential that we all do what we can to help our soil retain moisture. The best way to do this is by covering the soil with mulch.

One of the most readily available mulches is lawn clippings. However, they need to come from an untreated lawn which means a lawn that hasn’t been treated with any herbicides like weed and feed or other chemicals. You can also use straw but beware of any that would have weed seeds in it because they will sprout very easily and drive you crazy. Some feed stores sell straw that is considered weed-free so you might check into that. Shredded leaves also work well as a mulch.

No matter what type of mulch you use, put a thick layer over the soil surface of any beds that aren’t covered with plastic. Some gardeners use plastic mulch to increase the soil temperatures for heat-loving veggies like tomatoes, melons, peppers and eggplants. I like to use a grass-clipping mulch on my potato bed, as well as the beds where summer squash, winter squash, peas, onions and beans are growing.

The added bonus of using mulches is that they will help impede weed growth. I don’t know anyone who enjoys weeding so you will really appreciate that part. Have a great weekend.