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Mulch Your Way to a Beautiful Low Maintenance Garden

Summers are filled with barbeques, vacations, and caring for our landscapes.  Mulching is one way to save time and effort over a season or two, giving you more time for fun. 

Organic mulches such as evergreen needles, shredded leaves, and woodchips conserve soil moisture, reduce weed problems and add organic matter as they break down, improving the soil.  

Use shredded leaves, evergreen needles or herbicide-free grass clippings on annual flower and vegetable gardens.  These materials will break down over the season and can be tilled into the garden in fall.

Use woodchips, shredded bark and other wood type mulch around trees and shrubs or for pathways.  These materials break down slowly and can temporarily tie up the soil nitrogen.  This is usually not a problem for trees and shrubs.         

Spread a thin layer of mulch over the soil and around existing plants.  Keep mulch away from tree trunks and crowns of plants to avoid rot and decline.   

Mulching can be done at planting or as time allows.

A bit more information:  Don’t place weed barrier fabrics under organic mulches.  As the mulch breaks down, the fine particles can fill the pore spaces in the weed barrier.  Plus, the fabric prevents the organic matter from reaching and improving the soil.  And the biggest problem, weed seeds and surrounding weeds and grass grow in the decomposed mulch and root through the fabric barrier.  This creates a maintenance nightmare in the near future.

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