Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!

Having shown you some bits of our garden, I feel obligated to comment on how much mulch we use - since sometimes I feel like I've done nothing but spread mulch and weed for the last two months!  I see lots of posts about gardens, and hear lots of complaints about weeds - my answer is: 'Mulch as much as you can!'

Our small veggie garden is mulched with a shredded cedar bark this year, which was quite cheap.  None of the mulches eliminate weeds, but they reduce them dramatically, making weeding this a 15 minute task rather than two hours!

My new raspberry patches created this spring are mulched the same way, a few weeds yes, but only a few.

For paths I use clean wood chips, bought by the yard from a local sawmill, again quite cheaply.  They're easy to get and easy to spread and very effective for several years (this is a fresh coat).

Ditto for my favourite sitting area.  When it's in the shade like this, you get virtually no weeds a all.

This is a third mulch, the one we're using on the flower beds this year, and yes it's a little bit more expensive.  I buy all these mulches by the yard using my little dumpy (but very useful) trailer.  I've found that my old manure fork with it's thin sharp tines (from my grandparents' barn) is the best for handling all these, but I use that big purple scoop for spreading this finer mulch between the flowers.

Here's a bit of this mulch spread along the front edge of the garden.  Even just a clean edge on the front of the flower beds makes a big difference.

We've also used straw (not hay!) in the past, and the best of all, dry mulched leaves.  The neighbours have a lot of shade trees and use a landscaping service to do their lawn.  That service comes by in late October and mulches and scoops up the leaves for their final fall clean-up, and they need to get rid of them somewhere - so we just got them to bring it across the street and dump it for us.  We has a pile 18 feet long and 3 feet deep two years ago, and all FREE!  It lasts right through the winter quite effectively.

But last fall we had that early snow in the 3rd week of October, and the fall clean-up never got done, so we got no leaves - thus the mulches I had to purchase this year.  But if you don't mulch your gardens and you do a lot of weeding, try it; it makes a BIG difference.


  1. I can see that coming in very handy for you!

  2. and after a few years, all this mulch will have worked itself into your soil and made it much more fertile.

  3. You have a beautiful yard... LOVE it!! We too are a big fan of MULCH... For several years, we did not mulch --and spent the summer trying to stay ahead of the weeds. NOW---as you say, we still get a few weeds, but there aren't nearly as many as we used to have....


  4. Wow. Your garden is amazing. Do you every use dried seaweed that you just collect from the shore ?

  5. Looking good there. I do the mulching thing with whatever is handy, cheap and at hand. Thats including carpeting with discarded ones whenever the Mrs. decides its time for a new one....:)