Weeds can slow down and stop healthy plants from producing. Using mulch to suppress weeds is a much easier method compared to pulling or hoeing all those weeds.
I use a layered system for mulching. I start with a covering of newspaper and than drop a layer of leaf compost, grass clippings or seedless straw or hay.
I have also utilized the commercial biodegradable as the first layer if I am not able to obtain newspaper.
It is much cheaper to use newspaper if available. Some commercial brands advertise their mulch adds to the productivity of the plants. We are trying the plastic type for some of the tomatoes to compare results. I will provide a report of the comparisons at the end of the summer.
Mulching provides a protective covering around the soils that surround plants. On hot dry summer days a lack of moisture can quickly affect the progress of your plants. The mulching layers keep moisture levels constant for feeding hungry plants.
The coverage of mulch also provides a cool bed for your vegetables to survive baked ground in mid summer.
Be aware, cool soil can slow down transplants from taking hold in the soil. Because of the cooling effect, be careful when distributing the mulch around “warm blooded” plants such as peppers and tomatoes.
The need for warming mulch is an advantage some commercial mulch extols. Check out these advantages. Given the cool temperatures this spring that might be something to consider.
In future posts we will review our distribution of various mulches this spring.