Thank You Very Mulch
The garden is planted. Early summer rain has been generous and all the buried seeds begin their ascent. Turned earth will soon transform into an oasis of farm fresh produce.
That is unless the summer rain is no longer generous, or if unwelcome weeds invade the turned earth. Ambitious ideas of a grand fall harvest can easily succumb to unforeseen neglect during the growing season. The weeds take over, the sun burns the crops, and the harvest produces a bouquet of disappointment. These are the worries of a traditional gardener. There is an alternative to the traditional gardening process though; it’s called the mulch system. This system offers relief from the many shortcomings of traditional gardening.
The best time to convert to a mulch garden is right now. It can take up to three years for mulch to replenish a traditional garden, but there are some benefits that can be seen immediately. Usually in the spring it is common to dust off the rototiller to bust up a dormant garden. This process can help remove unwanted plants that may have already taken root. It is also a time to mix in manure, and soften the soil allowing easier planting. With a mulch garden this process will no longer be needed. The idea is to spread about six to eight inches of mulch over the entire garden. As the mulch decomposes it will automatically keep the soil soft and fresh. The mulch garden is ready for planting straight away.
It is common during the summer for unwanted weeds to overtake a traditional garden when left unattended. With the mulch system, this worry becomes obsolete. The six to eight inches of mulch prevent weeds from getting the sunlight they need to grow. If a few weeds manage to break through, it is easily remedied by applying an armful of mulch right on top of the offender. It becomes a lot easier to control the weeds with mulch even if neglected for a few weeks at a time. The days of hoeing, raking, and pulling weeds are now free for other summer projects. Since a lot of the labor is greatly reduced, this is a great system for those who would like to keep gardening well into their old age.
Summer weather can be unpredictable. There may be times of heavy rain, or times of severe drought. With traditional gardens a drought can threaten to wipe out an entire crop. To be effectively proactive it is common to install some type of watering system that can be used during those periods without rain. This is where we can see another benefit to having a mulch garden. Mulch is effective at trapping water and also keeps the soil out of direct sunlight. This reduces the amount of evaporation that usually occurs in a traditional garden. Even during times of severe drought the soil will retain plenty of moisture, which allows the gardener to become more mindful of wasteful water consumption.
Traditional gardens may also become less fertile after years of growing. It is quite taxing on the soil, which is actually why most traditional gardeners require the regular spreading of manure. Mulch gardens keep the soil healthy. Good mulch usually consists of wood chips, leaves, grass clippings, spoiled hay, and any vegetable matter that rots. All the different forms of mulch break down over time providing a constant renewal of nutrients. This in turn keeps plants healthier, allowing them to produce more. Many gardeners will no longer need to spread manure after introducing the mulch system for a few years. They are also able to plant seeds closer since the soil is so rich.
Getting the mulch garden ready for winter is almost no work at all. In fact it is a great time to convert a traditional garden to the mulch system. The dead leaves are readily available for winter covering. Any dead organic matter from the end of the year will make for great winter mulch. The only thing left to do is say goodnight. Come time to plant in spring, the ground will be soft, moist, and weed-less.
The struggle to maintain a productive, fertile traditional garden can exhaust a gardener of any skill level. No longer worried by the numerous pitfalls and nuances of tending to a traditional garden, the mulch system allows the gardener to fully enjoy the entire process. Instead of fretting about keeping up with weeds and watering, the gardener is able to plot out the varieties of plants they would like to try growing for the season. Whether rain or drought, the gardener can count on a full harvest come fall. The mulch system of gardening has gained popularity over the years and for good reason. With the mulch system you can plant your produce and eat it too.