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Low Maintenance Gardening; Mulch

Tired of watering?  Sick of pulling weeds?  Mulch is the solution.   It conserves moisture, reduces soil erosion, moderates soil temperatures, and suppresses weeds. 

Organic mulches like woodchips, leaves and evergreen needles also add organic matter and nutrients to the soil.

Simply apply a layer of mulch over the soil surface.  The finer the mulch, the thinner the layer needed.  Be sure not to bury the crown of the plant or trunk of the tree. Covering these with mulch can lead to disease problems.

Use woodchips and shredded bark for pathways and around trees and shrubs. These long lasting mulches can temporarily tie up nitrogen in the soil and stunt annual and perennial flowers and vegetables. Twice shredded bark breaks down quickly and poses less of a problem with perennials.

Shredded leaves and evergreen needles are a free source of mulch that make an excellent mulch in flower and vegetable gardens.

A bit more information: A foamy slime mold known as dog vomit fungus can form on woodchips and some other types of mulch during prolonged wet weather. The mold looks like dog vomit, but does not harm the plants. It just feeds on the organic matter in the mulch. When drier weather returns, the slime mold dries up and disappears. You can lightly rake mulched areas during wet weather to prevent the appearance of this slime mold.

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