redneck647
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Use mulch or not?

So I know this might be a dumb question but.
I have never used mulch and none of the gardeners I was around growing up really used it. So is it worth using? I'm really considering it but I'm afraid of unforeseen problems trying something new.
I understand it helps keep the weeds out but wouldn't it also have an effect of seeds planted in the garden? And I'm guessing it might become a pain when I keep planting through the season?
Also I know it would hold water in my clay soil which is known to dry out in the middle of summer but for the rest of the season my soil usually stays damp and I sometimes have problems with too much water. Wouldn't the mulch make that worse?
Lastly my garden in on a hill and has a slight slope to it. I'm still working on shaping it but for now how much trouble would I have keeping mulch where its supposed to be and not washing down to the bottom in a storm?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Use mulch or not?

Every one has different styles/ philosophies, but personally I am definitely PRO mulch.

You understand when we say mulch we aren't particularly talking about the bark chips they sell as mulch in the stores. Mulch is anything organic you cover your soil with. I like to use a mixture of "green" and "brown" mulches (in the sense composters use those words). Green is soft, moist, Nitrogen rich. Brown is hard, dry, Carbon rich. So for example grass clippings plus fall leaves is a green/brown mix. Grass clippings by themselves tend to mat down. Fall leaves by themselves take a long time to break down. But together they stay loose and break down well and make a complete soil amendment. So your mulch is feeding your soil all through the season. I just keep piling more on top. You want it to be 3-6 inches deep. (Another green/brown mix is pulled weeds plus shredded newspaper.)

If you are planting seeds, don't put your mulch on until the seeds are well sprouted and then keep an area right around your plants clear for awhile. If you want to plant more seeds later in the season, just push your mulch away from your planting row.

Makes life so much easier -- mostly eliminates weeding, watering and fertilizing in your garden. My garden where I was before I moved, where I had been gardening for years and years, I never used any fertilizer, just compost and mulch. Now that I have moved to a place that has never been gardened, for the first year I may need to use something more concentrated and quick release like alfalfa meal, fish emulsion, etc.

But you are right, if you have much of a slope, you would need to have some kind of edging to keep the mulch in place.
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jal_ut
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Re: Use mulch or not?

rainbowgardener has you covered on the mulch thing. I do not mulch my garden since I garden a large space it is not practical to do so. For a small area it would certainly be a good thing.

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B-T-S
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Re: Use mulch or not?

We use straw for mulch, our garden is close to 1 acre and we mulch everything! We probably used 7 to 8 round bales of straw (aprox 1000lb bales) last year, we put down a super thick layer of straw in the spring and we never weed again!. It also helps hold in the moisture, we plant everything on hills so we don't half to worry about anything rotting.
I added on a few pictures of last years garden with straw.
Good luck
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j3707
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Re: Use mulch or not?

Wow BTS, you don't mess around! I'm glad it works well for you.

redneck - I planted one bed in mulch a few years ago and found I had created the ideal slug habitat. Keep that in mind if slugs are a problem where you live.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Use mulch or not?

I have not had that problem . Were you using bark mulch ? Slugs do like wood . If you do get slugs in your mulch , I think giving it a good dusting of diatomaceous earth would help.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

Luckily we have never had problems with slugs, but I am sure there are ways to get rid of them, I just don't know since we have never had them.

We are lucky and we get all of our straw for free from some friends that are farmers, we are very lucky and I know not everyone has that privilege.

We are going to buy a straw shredder this year, but that depends on how serious you are and your garden size.

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Gary350
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Re: Use mulch or not?

I never use mulch it is less work and less costly. I experimented with hay mulch many years ago hay is full of weed seeds and grass seeds so that made it harder to deal with all the extra 1000s of weeds and grass that grew in my garden.

Best thing for me is to hoe 2 times a week. A 5 to 10 minute walk through the garden is all it takes to remove small weeds. I only hoe near the plants about 6" radius around each plant. Do this about every 3 days and there is very few weeds to remove. Small weeds are easier to hoe than large weeds. If you do it right this works better than mulch. You only want to break the soil surface. Use the hoe like a scraper not an axe, not a shovel. You want to leave the soil surface with a 1" layer of dry broken up soil. The dry surface soil on top acts like shade for the harder soil below. Hard soil below stays moist and the dry soil on top will not sprout and grow weeds seeds.

After hoeing around plants I run the tiller through the garden very fast. I plant my rows about 10" wider than my tiller. I start my tiller and walk it through the garden as fast as it will go I almost need to run to keep up. All this does is break up the surface it does not dig deep. Once or twice through the garden as fast as I can walk with the tiller does 95% of the weeding between rows. After you finish doing this do not walk in the garden until the next time you need to remove weeds. When the rain stops about first week of June I don't need to weed again until the next time it rains maybe 2 or 3 weeks. July I might weed 1 time that month if it rains. I never water my garden either, early on if you force your plants to grow deep roots in search of water they will be well prepared for the dry season. If you water your garden it promotes shallow roots. When it is hot and dry I have no weeds and garden plants do good.

I only hoe my garden about 2 weeks in April, the month of May, and first 2 weeks of June. All the 65 day crops can be harvested late June and early July. Some plants last until frost kills them about Halloween. Some plants like beans and squash get replanted in July. Late season crops get planted Aug and Sept. My garden is going to be 60x60 ft this year.

Your geographical location, weather conditions, and soil will be different than ours so all the suggestions we all have many not all work for you. Gardening involves a lot of common sense thinking. Just think a few minutes about what we are doing, what people near you are doing and decide what will work for you.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Use mulch or not?

Hay has a lot of weed seeds. Straw does not.

and Gary, haven't you posted about having to put tons of compost and organic matter on your soil, 5-6 truckloads of leaves on the garden every year, etc etc. If you weren't tilling all the time, probably wouldn't have to do so much of that. Many people think that tilling is hard on the soil. It disrupts the fungal and other life of the soil, leaves the soil open to erosion by wind and water, releases oxygen and water from the soil, uses fossil fuels for tillers. Tilling is mainly for weed control and if you mulch you don't have weeds to control.

But you are right. Every garden is different, different soil, different climate, different sun exposure, etc. Each of us has to figure out by some combination of reading and trial and error, what works best in our own garden.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

I think the reduction of weeds is over-sold with mulch. Non-hay mulch can reduce weeds to a degree. Unless you have Ruth Stouts resource, you are not likely to lay it on heavy enough. She went to great lengths to secure spoiled hay in large enough quantity for her small garden. See
B-T-S' post.

Where this IS important to my garden (in Ohio clay) is it is what I have to make my soil friable. In short, no mulch, no garden. I would be making pottery without it.
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j3707
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Re: Use mulch or not?

rainbowgardener - I used straw. The Pacific Northwest is slug country...we have to fend them off every spring no matter what. I haven't tried diatomaceous earth, but have heard it loses effectiveness when it gets wet.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

I read that quack grass, when pulled and dried, contains a substance that kills or repels slugs. So one of the things I do is NOT entirely get rid of quack grass, and as they grow and spread, pull and leave on the edge of the garden beds to dry out, then use them as part of the mulch.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

Well, I had a quote typed out, but lost the post. The gist of it is, a regional gardening guru (Steve Solomon) does not recommend permanent mulch gardens for the Pacific Northwest. In his experience, they become a haven for certain bugs (and slugs) that will attack the veggies. "A steady and unstoppable increase" he says. Apparently our weather makes permanent mulch gardening a real challenge.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

I do use some mulch but not on everything. I have a lot of weeds and snails and it is true, snails love mulch. It keeps everything moist. I also use interplanting to control weeds and because I don't have a lot of garden space. Interplanting makes the best use of limited garden space. I like to mulch potted plants and self watering containers because I don't want weeds competing with the plants in the pots and it helps retain water since pots can dry out fast.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

I like mulch here in the central basins of AZ. My land is kind of a high desert, juniper, pinyon environment, with sandy light soil. Weeds don't readily grow here. It's a strange phenomenon. So, I have used grass hay and alfalfa hay without a weed problem. Because of the blazing hot sun and light soil the mulch keeps it cool and moist under there. (for awhile!) I prefer the hay to straw since I assume it has more nutrients to add to the soil. Just how it works for me here.



tomc wrote: In short, no mulch, no garden. I would be making pottery without it.
Maybe you could still make pottery in your spare time. :)

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Gary350
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Re: Use mulch or not?

I think mulch is for people that never learned how to keep grass and weeds out of their garden. I never mulched in Illinois. I never mulched in Michigan. I never mulched in Arizona. I don't mulch in Tennessee. Farmers do not mulch 2000 acre fields they use a cultivator. If you learn to do what a cultivator does with your hoe you don't need to mulch. A cultivator leaves a 1" layer of loose soil on the surface that acts like shade this does the same thing as mulch. Many people claim mulch is better, is that because they never learned how to use their hoe. I tried mulch a few time when I was young it was more work than the hoe. I tried raised beds too they are double work. So maybe I never learned how to do raised beds, I never wanted to do the extra work. I have been gardening for 50 years I have tried several things trying to find an easier way but I always return to the way that works best for me. Every geographical location has different challenges take advise then learn what works best for you. There is a lot of common sense that goes into having a good easier to deal with garden.

There is a very easy common sense trick to this. If your soil is hard it is very difficult to hoe weeds and grass. Till lots of organic material into your soil to make it soft. Now you can hoe weeds and grass easy. If you make soil soft enough you don't need a hoe a rake works better. I have learned to buy a pickup truck load of compost every spring, till it into the rows TN hard clay soil is so soft grass and weeds are easy to kill.

Like I said every geographical location is different Arizona weeds and grass grows 5 times faster than Tennessee. Soil is sand roots love that, no clouds, big sky country full sun every day, temperature is in the low 70s the whole garden season all plants love that. I learned to pull the garden rake like a road grader blade to scrap out the weeds and grass. I think TN garden is less work than AZ but the best crop I every had was AZ and Michigan plants like the cool temperatures better than heat. Wish I could have the best of both worlds I sure did love having melons like I grew in AZ it was hard eating a whole water melon every day all by myself.

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Re: Use mulch or not?

Mulch is for people who don't want to go out and hoe every couple days. I've done both, mulch and no mulch. Mulch, in my experience, is a once and done thing. When the soil is warm I pull the weeds that are there and lay down a couple layers of newspaper or cardboard and cover with a couple inches of mowed and bagged grass. That area usually won't need to be weeded again until harvest. Mulch adds organic material and keeps moisture in if it's laid down when the soil is still damp.

And no, people don't go out and mulch fields. Fields aren't the same as small gardens.

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Re: Use mulch or not?

Mulch feeds the soil and builds up the soil microbial community and preserves moisture and nutrients in the soil. Hoeing does not feed the soil, breaks up the fungal life of the soil, and releases moisture and nitrogen to the air.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

rainbowgardener wrote:Mulch feeds the soil and builds up the soil microbial community and preserves moisture and nutrients in the soil. Hoeing does not feed the soil, breaks up the fungal life of the soil, and releases moisture and nitrogen to the air.

I agree. I use mulch for retaining moisture and coolth in the soil in this blazing AZ heat, and for adding nutrients to the soil.

redneck647
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Re: Use mulch or not?

Thanks everyone. I'm still considering it but I've had other things I had to worry about. I'll probably just go without and look into it better before next year.
I've been tossing most of the weeds and grass clippings into the compost pile to feed the garden that way.

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Re: Use mulch or not?

Mulch is the better way in my opinion. Why has already been answered.
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cass2828
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Re: Use mulch or not?

Go for mulch bud...
Grow big or go home..

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Gary350
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Re: Use mulch or not?

What is your definition of mulch?

I have tried mulch, wood chips, saw dust, peat moss, dry grass and straw.

Un composted material will suck all the nitrogen from your soil then plants turn yellow and die.

Straw works best. It cost money $20 a bale here. Lots of work to haul and lot of work to put down. Lots of work to keep wind from blowing it away.
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cass2828
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Re: Use mulch or not?

Go for mulch
It is better
Grow big or go home..

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Use mulch or not?

Wood chips and sawdust are VERY carbon rich and probably do suck nitrogen out of the soil, especially if they get mixed in to the soil vs. just sitting on top. Peat moss sucks up water and adds nothing to your soil. I like to use a mixture of "greens" and "browns" just like in a compost pile. That way nitrogen is provided. I mulch with grass clippings mixed with fall leaves, or shredded paper mixed with (slightly) chopped up pulled weeds. Works very well for me. Suppresses weeds, keeps moisture in the soil, earthworms love it, and it continuously feeds the soil with a complete nutrient mix as it breaks down. I use no fertilizer, just compost and mulch.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

Gary350 wrote:What is your definition of mulch?

I have tried mulch, wood chips, saw dust, peat moss, dry grass and straw.

Un composted material will suck all the nitrogen from your soil then plants turn yellow and die.

Straw works best. It cost money $20 a bale here. Lots of work to haul and lot of work to put down. Lots of work to keep wind from blowing it away.
Anything organic that covers your soil is mulch to me.

And i don't find that uncomposted materials steal the nitrogen. But i don't mix it with the soil, just putting it on top. I do let woodchips sit for about a year before i use them (most of the time) but not always. And both ways work fine but it seems certain kinds of woods require the "weathering" to be good for the garden.
When you have get going and add new mulch there should still be a fair amount of mulch left and you just put the new materials on top of that with no blending, just like in nature.

Also as already mentioned adding mulch as balanced compost layers of green and brown is a very good practice specially for the vegteble garden.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

I have 2 vegetable garden areas that measure 8 x 16 and 8 x 4. I make small hill for my vegetables whether planting seeds or established plants. I lay newspaper (4-6 pages thick) between the rows (wet it first, it will stay down while you are working), and then up to within 3-4 inches of my seed/plant. Then I lay a layer of mulch (whatever I get cheapest at the garden center or big box store) on top of that to keep the newspaper in place-it doesn't have to be real thick. This keeps the majority of weeds from coming up. The newspaper breaks down during the growing season and is not harmful to the soil or your plants.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

I've experimented with mulch in various areas of the garden over the past couple of years. This year I'm mulching some of my backyard beds with shredded leaves. I've used dry grass clippings in various areas in the past and this year will be using that for my veggie beds and in my flower pots that dry out quickly. I played around with this idea last summer and the pots with a layer of dried grass clippings particularly flourished. This year my shrub and flower beds are getting mulched with pine bark mulch and particularly weedy areas get some layers of newspaper under the pine bark. When we purchased the house there were some areas overtaken by weeds so I've seen great success in working with the newspaper. I'm slowly but surely lessening my weeding from year to year using this method. I've gone with pine bark because I have a lot of acid loving plants and like the color. Eventually I might move away from the silly practice of buying mulch, but for now I'm just weaning myself off slowly. It's mostly an aesthetic preference for me in my front beds.

Honestly, in my experience my mulched beds grow healthier than sections that don't get mulched, no matter what the material I've used. I get busy, go on vacation... things don't get watered as they should. The moisture retention the mulch provides has always worked to my advantage so I'm sticking to it.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

RE: Eventually I might move away from the silly practice of buying mulch, but for now I'm just weaning myself off slowly.

I don't buy wood chips any more (and haven't for years), because I have a little chipper shredder and I run downed wood and pruned branches etc. through it. It doesn't handle big stuff, but up to about an inch in diameter.

Admittedly the product is not as pretty as what you buy. But free and very locally produced seems to make up for that, for me.

Mine is about like this, electric plug in:

Image

small and cheap, but it does what I want it to. Look on craigs list, they are often for sale.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

Iv'e been looking to by a chipper/shredder for some time, but money and opportunity never met really. There are cheap ones that does the job, and a bit more expensive ones that are really decent and can take up to 50mm branches (about 2 inch). I have a pile of debris waiting for me to get one hehe.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Use mulch or not?

Anything too big for my small chipper becomes firewood. Now I am also saving some for a hugelkultur bed I want to build at some point.

It is great for reducing your brush pile. A pretty big pile of brush and small branches becomes one bucket of wood chips. I am getting ready to take down a whole bunch of scrub trees lining my back fence. I will have more brush and wood than I can use. Then it is just a matter of the time to run it through the chipper.

Definitely, a bigger chipper will handle bigger branches, but they are way more expensive (like five times as much), take up more room to store when not in use, and usually have gasoline engines.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

I mulch most of my garden and the garden paths, too.

For the OP, here is another thought -- the slug issues are admittedly worse in the wet Pacific Northwest I'm sure, but in a balanced ecosystem, once there is an overpopulation of a pest, predators for the same pest moves in. This requires that you don't disturb the environment. So in a garden where there is constant digging and moving, or spraying of various "stuff" it's possible proper predator community never gets a foothold or have a chance to become established.

I was happy to find many firefly pupae in my garden when digging around, and have generally tried not to disturb them any more. Firefly larvae feed on slug eggs and baby slugs in the soil. Adult Fireflies will eat somewhat larger slugs. Other soil dwelling predators include centipedes and ground beetles.

I also see boat-tailed grackles - marching along the garden path, tossing aside mulch and gobbling up stuff. Since they usually do this very early in the morning twilight when sun hasn't even risen over the horizon or just after, I believe they are finding slugs (among other delicacies) slinking back to hiding after a night of garden grazing. If I get out there after I've seen the grackles patrolling the garden, I generally don't find many or any slugs. This may be just because I was out too late, but when I'm out on overcast or misty mornings when the birds are scarce, I do spot a small number of slugs that I pick up myself.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

I use mulch in several different forms. What I do depends on the time of year. I'm mostly looking for moisture control but the breakdown of the mulch is also important as source of nutrients. I use tilled in compost and don't fertilize. I till because of pecan tree roots.

Grass clippings. I have very few problems from any seed in it. It's on top of the soil, above root level, and doesn't have any real effect on my nitrogen level.

Unfinished compost. Most of the items in it have broken down but enough remain undigested to cover the soil well. Again, moisture & weed control with no real effect on nitrogen levels.

Weeds. That's right, I use low growing weeds, like vetch and clover, to keep out the larger weeds and hold in moisture. Not all unwanted plants (weeds) are bad for your garden. This one is such a hard sale I don't expect many to agree. When my crop is through I put it all in the compost pile. The weeds just go right back into the cycle. Nothing lost, moisture & weed control gained.

If I cared even a little about the aesthetics, I would probably be running around the neighborhood collecting oak leaves.

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Re: Use mulch or not?

rainbowgardener wrote:Definitely, a bigger chipper will handle bigger branches, but they are way more expensive (like five times as much), take up more room to store when not in use, and usually have gasoline engines.
There are some in the same size like yours, but with a new technology wihtout knifes, is more like a Mill, grinder or something. No knifes to sharpen, handles bigger branches, and are about 2times the cost. Maybe 3-5 times if you compare to the cheapest noname ones. But the chips/shreds are a bit bigger with this method, the nice thing tho is that you fed it a long branch and walk away and it keeps feeding automatically. And compared to the old standard ones these ones are really quiet.

They are quite new so are likely to be improved and become cheaper withing a few years as well.

Edit: They are called Turbine Cut. Bosch has them.
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Re: Use mulch or not?

In the fall, I pick up all our leaves with a small push mower with a bagging attachment. I place them in large bags and save them to mulch with. It works great and doesn't put weed seeds into your garden, plus they are free. Whatever leaves I have left I cover the garden with in the fall and till them in in early spring. They seem to make the soil very rich.

redneck647
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Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:18 pm
Location: Pa.

Re: Use mulch or not?

I covered the garden with leaves last fall but raked them off in the spring and dumped them into the compost pile.
I don't have a shredder for them and I'm offend planting new things and replacing things that were harvested so I'm afraid the leaves would just cause problems trying to open spaces for stuff and not burying seedlings in the mulch.
I also tend to keep my plant fairly close together thinning them out as the season goes on. This tends to help with my limited space.

Applestar I'm in Pa but so far I haven’t had a slug problem in the garden. But then again after working on the soil last fall and this spring I'm finally just starting to get a few worms in it.
My plan is to only dig up each bed once every 6 years when mixing in a lot of compost. Other then that I only dig it up to plant transplants or harvest root crops. I only hoe the top of the surface and mostly just where I see weeds so I'm assuming that wouldn't do as much damage?

Rue Barbie
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Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:10 pm
Location: Southern California, Zone 10

Re: Use mulch or not?

'No mulch, no garden'. That's also true here in S. Calif, especially since we are still in a drought. A thick layer of mulch is necessary to help keep the soil moist.

I use 'city mulch' which is ground up green waste. Locally it's free to pick up yourself, or they'll deliver it here for about $40 a dump truck load, which is about 8 yards. This mulch does not encourage snails or slugs, but the earthworms beneath love it.

When using mulch, I tend not to direct seed, but transplant starts. And I don't push the mulch close until the plant has a bit of growth. I water with soaker hoses (and sometimes grey water by hand). The soaker hoses are beneath the mulch.

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Gary350
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Use mulch or not?

I never mulch anymore, I have not mulched in 25 years and i never have weeds or grass problems.

I use to have trouble with my bell peppers would never grow taller than 3 feet and the bell peppers were the size of lemons. TN soils is hard as cement in dry weather so one year I tilled in 6" of peat mass to loosen the soil. Then I got worried all then peat moss would pull all the nitrogen from the soil so I added nitrogen and 15-15-15 fertilizer. After tilling it in soil was soft as cotton, roots had no trouble growing that was the first year my bell peppers were 7 feet tall and bell peppers were the size of grapefruits. Now i till peat moss into the bell pepper row every year the bell pepper plants are always 6 to 7 ft tall and bell peppers are very large.

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Use mulch or not?

Gary350: "Now i till peat moss into the bell pepper row every year the bell pepper plants are always 6 to 7 ft tall "

This I wanna see. My bell peppers get 18 inches tall. Guess I don't have the season for it?

I mulch the tomatoes with newspaper and grass clippings. This keeps the weeds down and keeps the fruit off the ground. Nothing else gets mulched in my garden. If I wanted to mulch my whole garden I would need to buy a wagon load of straw bales to have enough material to do it. The straw is not without its own problems with seeds in it. In the Fall garden remains and raked leaves, and manure (when available) get tilled in and the microbes can work on it during winter. Hey, we are always going to have weeds. The seed comes on the wind. It helps to not let any go to seed on your own lot though. Hoe, hoe, hoe.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/- Plant a Garden

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Gary350
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Use mulch or not?

jal_ut wrote:Gary350: "Now i till peat moss into the bell pepper row every year the bell pepper plants are always 6 to 7 ft tall "

This I wanna see. My bell peppers get 18 inches tall. Guess I don't have the season for it?

I mulch the tomatoes with newspaper and grass clippings. This keeps the weeds down and keeps the fruit off the ground. Nothing else gets mulched in my garden. If I wanted to mulch my whole garden I would need to buy a wagon load of straw bales to have enough material to do it. The straw is not without its own problems with seeds in it. In the Fall garden remains and raked leaves, and manure (when available) get tilled in and the microbes can work on it during winter. Hey, we are always going to have weeds. The seed comes on the wind. It helps to not let any go to seed on your own lot though. Hoe, hoe, hoe.
Jal, how hard is your soil? Several years ago I accidently discovered bell peppers will grow much larger if the roots are not restricted by hard TN soil. I fertilize with 15-15-15 and rarely use nitrogen anymore. I think nitrogen makes the plants grow too tall. I have to use cement rebar to tie the plants up, if I don't do a good job a thunder storm will blow the plants over. There may be some other unknown added benefit to using peat moss that I don't know. Give it a try it is worth an experiment to see if it works for you. My growing season is probably 2 months longer than yours. If we continue to have full sun, if it warms up, if it does not rain again, if the mud dries up, I might be able to plant tomatoes and peppers Tuesday or Wednesday. We usually have no frost before Halloween, garden could get a frost that kills it early November and we usually still have 70 and 80 degree days until Christmas. I usually plant tomatoes and peppers first week of April, seed crops when soil warms up to 65 degrees last week of April or first week of May and garden is good until first week of Nov, we have a 6 month growing season. My bell peppers don't grow much in 100 degree weather July and Aug and they usually grow another 18 inches taller in Sept and Oct. I will take photos this year.

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