If you’ve ever planted a garden or ornamental plants around your house, you probably looked in to mulching the area you planted in. Mulching a garden helps hold moisture, stop weeds from growing, and add a fertility boost to your plants. I’ve found that while the idea is simple, it can go wrong many ways. Here are some helpful tips for you when planting your first garden.
Choose The Right Mulch
Many people think that the only mulch that is proper to use is the ornamental kind from a store. You can find mulch in large bags at any local nursery or home center store for a relatively low price. If you don’t have the extra money to spend on mulch from a store, then you may want to look into options you already have. You can use dead leaves, grass clippings, and even wood chips right from your own yard. Each of these will work as a suitable biodegradable mulch.
Prepare Your Garden
Before you get started adding the mulch you’ll want to prep your area. Remove any weeds in the area and make sure the surface is as flat as possible for even water distribution. Once you have added the mulch the weeds will not grow back due to an insufficient amount of sunlight. Add a small layer of fertilizer and add your border once you are finished pulling weeds. Be careful not to add too much fertilizer as it could damage plants and prevent them from growing properly.
Once your garden is prepped and ready for the mulch, the next step is the layering. You will want to add a deep layer of mulch to the flower bed to prevent weed growth and retain moisture. I’ve found that the optimum depth is between three and five inches. Make sure to leave a small amount of area around the plant itself. Building the mulch close to the stem of your plants could cause water logging and cause the plant to begin to decay.
If you chose an all natural mulch for your flower bed you may want to keep some extra around in an old trashcan or storage container. As time progresses, weather will start to break down your mulch. There is no need to remove the old mulch as it decomposes, adding to the fertility of your soil. When you get down to a two inch layer of mulch then it may be a good idea to add another layer on top to renew the effectiveness of your mulch.
Follow these simple tips to mulch your garden the right way on your first try. I have an organic garden and by following these steps it stays healthy and free of weeds year round. Good luck!