Find out the different benefits of various types of mulch and determine which type is best for your garden.
- Mulch protects vegetable plants by keeping harmful sunrays from the plant roots and surrounding dirt. This keeps the water in the soil from evaporating too quickly, leaving the plants to dry out or wilt.
- Mulch releases nutrients right back into the soil which is critical for growing vegetables.
- Straw mulch is helpful because it's light and airy. The weight keeps plants from getting rot at the base. Make sure you buy straw that doesn't have seeds and that you stay on top of any weeds if they come up.
- Composted manure is good for gardens because it adds so many nutrients. Fresh manure can have a lot of seeds that cause weeds, but they're all broken down in the compost. You can use fresh manure to fire up a compost pile or to create heat in a hot frame.
- When mulching, you walk a fine line between protecting the plants from drying out and covering them too much so they rot.
- Mulch does a great job of keeping weeds out and moisture in, but it has another huge benefit. The very dirt that gives a plant structure and nutrients can hold diseases that can harm it. Soil-borne diseases occur when water splashes dirt up onto the plant stem or leaves. Mulch makes a barrier between the ground and the plant to reduce the risk of these diseases.
- When you apply mulch, make sure you can't see the soil below when you are finished. A coating of 2-4 inches will work, depending on the type of mulch you use. Heavier mulches can be applied in a thin layer, and lighter mulches in a heavy layer. You'll need to reapply mulch as it thins out and breaks down into the soil, possibly 2 or 3 times during the growth of a plant.
Learn key basics about fertilizer that will help you select the right type based on your soil composition and growing conditions.
Incorporating Vegetables Into Flower Beds
If you're limited on space for a vegetable garden, incorporate veggies into existing flower beds.
Tips for a Raised-Bed Vegetable Garden
Raised-bed vegetable gardening takes very little space and allows vegetables to be grown closer together.
How to Plant and Grow Peas
To be a successful backyard pea farmer -- and picker -- follow directions, keep the birds away and feed the soil.
Quick-Growing Spring and Fall Vegetables
From seed to dinner table in one month? These quick-growing vegetables give the garden a good start and a lingering end.
Joe Lamp'l discusses the properties of green onions and how they differ from bulbing onions. These tender types of onions are edible from top to bottom, and they're a gardener's dream because they're very simple to grow.
Mulch Your Way to Better Landscape Design
Mulch your way to prettier, healthier plantings. Learn which type of mulch to use, when to use it and where to use it.
Picking the Right Mulch
Not all mulch is the same. For the best results, different areas require the use of different types of mulch.
Tips on Extending the Growing Season
Follow this simple advice and see how easy it is extend your growing season.
Tips on Growing Gardeners-To-Be
Discover great ideas to get kids involved in the garden.
We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.More DIY Social
See the latest DIY projects, catch up on trends and meet more cool people who love to create.Make It. Fix It. Learn It. Find It.
- Tips for Summer Yard Maintenance
- Tips for Watering Lawn in Summer
- Plants That Bloom in Summer
- Flavorful Herbs Enhance Summer Dishes
- Unusual Summer Perennials