It might seem like one more step, but mulching vegetable gardens goes a long way. The best mulch for vegetable gardens works like a dressing on your salad- it adds flavor and nutrients, breathing new life into the vegetable. So, what is the best mulch for vegetable gardens?
What is Mulch?
We use mulch as a blanket term for all kinds of materials that we cover the soil with. These could be organic or inorganic and range from straw to gravel. Mulch is extremely useful in keeping the ground moist, keeping weeds away, and helping keep soil healthy and perfect for growing.
Organic or Inorganic?
Organic mulches were alive at one point (think leaves, compost, or grass clippings) and will decompose. As icky as this sounds, it’s great for growing things, and having mulch made of organic material gives nutrients and organic matter to the soil. This measure makes the soil healthier and is excellent for root health.
Inorganic mulches are synthetic (we’re talking decorative gravels, landscaping fabric, and black plastic) and don’t decompose or do so very slowly. These are great for preventing weeds, making sure you don’t have to mulch often, or decorating.
The Most Important Thing About Mulching Vegetable Gardens
Keep it light and breezy. We’re looking for materials that will break down quickly, nourishing the soil and helping veggies break through. Using heavy material like hardwood will keep the little sprouts down and give nothing to the earth.
Light, organic materials like grass clippings or straw will give nutrients to the soil and are easy for your budding salad toppings to break through.
This one is great because you don’t have to pay for it (make it yourself) and save the environment while you’re doing it. Compost is a mix of decomposing organic matter, and it’s packed with nutrients. By saving banana peels and eggshells for your compost (among other things), you can add a lot of healthy food to your veggies.
Avoid putting these in your compost, as it can make you sick or (gasp) ruin your garden:
- Animal Droppings
- Diseased plants
Another bargain mulch is grass clippings which are full of nutrients. They help prevent weeds and can be spread easily after mowing your lawn. (If you don’t cut your lawn, talk to your lawn care service to see how they can accommodate your need for the green)
Avoid using grass treated with harsh pesticides. Instead, you should mow grass with milder pesticides a few times before using it on your veggies.
Lawn care services in Annapolis don’t just operate during the summer. There are essential things to do during the winter as well. For example, straw is an excellent winter mulch. Protecting the soil from frost retains the moisture and insulates the soil. Straw can also be used during the summer, making it a great and inexpensive option.
Although we sometimes use the terms interchangeably, make sure you buy straw and not hay, and purchase from a reputable dealer who won’t give you weeds with your straw.
Contact Lawn Care Services for Mulch
We know you might not have access to all these things (or the inclination), and it’s okay. We’ve got you. Not only do we have access to the materials (we’ve been mowing the lawn all day, we have grass-clipping coming out our ears), but we’ll come to lay it out for you. Please fill out our form below for a free quote on how much it will cost to have professional lawn care services in Annapolis mulch your vegetable garden.
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