gunsmokex
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Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:13 am
Location: South Dakota zone 4b

To mulch or not to mulch? Thats my question.

Simple question on whether to mulch or not? This is my first year gardening ever and I'm completely 100% hooked, I should have done this years ago :)

The garden is located in my front yard near a stream valley, the nights are a lot cooler down here than the rest of the surrounding country, I'm rather fortunate in my location.

I want my garden to do as best as possible. Basically I tilled the hell out of an entire patch of grass thoroughly and planted it. I think I read on another post about someone else doing this and they got grass growing every where. Well I do as well but I think after enough weeding I've finally got a handle on it so its looking pretty good now, well except for the corn which has grass throughout it but the corn isn't doing bad by any means, I think I'll get ambitious today and hoe the outer parts of the rows. Regardless though with my trusty hoe I've gotten a few blisters and I've now got a handle on the grass.

As for my question on whether or not to mulch I guess I feel that my soil retains moisture pretty well and I'm pretty meticulous on watering it I don't mind the work of weeding and watering at all, its nice and relaxing and it gives me something to do and I take a lot of pride in it.

Should I be mulching my peppers and tomatoes or not? The soil they are in is very fertile nice and black perfect for growing in.

The rest of my garden consists of asparagus, onions, a couple of fennel plants, strawberries, a variety of herbs thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary and tarragon, celery, brussel sprouts, cabbage, a pole bean, watermelon and cantelope.

Anyways does any here not mulch or is that just standard practice? I guess I'm a little concerned about fungus because today I did just find a mushroom already and I don't want a fungus problem in my garden if I can avoid it. I don't mind the extra work of weeding and monitoring the soil moisture. At the same time my tomatoes aren't really taking off either but thats because I haven't fertilized them yet which I'm going to do today I'll have a different post for that though.

Anyways any opinions, suggestions, tips and criticisms are more than welcome, I can tell there is volume of knowledge in this forum so don't be shy and feel free to be blunt with me, I need to learn from others mistakes and I'd like to avoid to any newbie gardening mistakes if I can.

Thanks :)
Justin

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rainbowgardener
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Re: To mulch or not to mulch? Thats my question.

Personally I am a big believer in mulch. It not only conserves moisture, avoiding wet& dry cycles, suppresses weeds, breaks down to feed your soil, adding fertility and tilth, it helps prevent disease. Tomatoes especially should always be mulched because they are prone to soil borne diseases that are transmitted when soil contacts the leaves or is splashed on them. So the mulch is a good barrier to prevent that.
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gunsmokex
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Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:13 am
Location: South Dakota zone 4b

Re: To mulch or not to mulch? Thats my question.

Ok I'll mulch the tomatoes then I may have to clip off the lower growth as the plants are very bushy. I didn't realize they can get disease just from the soil, yikes. I think I'm going to have to wait a couple of days to mulch anything now though because it just got done raining 2.5 inches outside, I just put 1-2" on it two days ago betting that it wouldn't rain. It was only a 20% chance of precip who knew I should have just listened to the weather man.

Anyway it looks like I'll have to wait a couple of days before I can compost or fertilize cause everything in the garden right now is pretty water logged.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: To mulch or not to mulch? Thats my question.

Yes when you get a chance, you do need to clip all the lower branches of the tomatoes, so that nothing touches the ground .
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

ruggr10
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Re: To mulch or not to mulch? Thats my question.

Mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, and mulch! Does wonders. You can use woodchips, straw, hay, seaweed, whole tree mulch, grass clippings. They all do wonders! Some will say no to hay, but if you put a thick enough layer you don't need to worry about weeds.

gunsmokex
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Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:13 am
Location: South Dakota zone 4b

Re: To mulch or not to mulch? Thats my question.

Should I clip the lower leaves of my pepper plants as well?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: To mulch or not to mulch? Thats my question.

Peppers usually grow a little taller of the ground and don't have long branches hanging down, but yes you can take off leaves that are touching the ground.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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