Mulching is the most under-utilized and under-appreciated gardening practice. When starting a vegetable garden, it’s a tiny investment of time and resources at the beginning that pays big dividends down the road.
Top 10 Mistakes|
|1.) Too Much Garden|
|2.) Wrong Varieties|
|3.) Planting Too Early|
|4.) Poor Soil Preparation|
|5.) Poor Garden Spacing|
|6.) Not Enough Light|
|7.) Incorrect Watering|
|8.) "More is Better" Trap|
|9.) Not Mulching|
|10.) Ignoring Pollinators|
A mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of the soil between plants. For vegetable gardens, a 1-2" (2-5cm) layer is usually enough.
Mulches can be inorganic (stone, plastic) or organic (chipped or ground bark, sawdust, shredded paper). When starting a vegetable garden, use organic mulches because they eventually break down and enrich the soil.
Mulches also prevent or reduce the surface crusting that constricts around the stems of spring and fall vegetables, a constriction that’s one of the signals that causes these vegetables to bolt prematurely.
Mulches can reduce watering needs by 20% in hot climates.
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