I just have to say another word (or many) about MULCH. I spent the last few days in the Fall downtown at a conference (Istoria), and walked around near the waterfront during the lengthy breaks. And saw some pretty MISERABLE looking planting spots at some of the most beautiful office towers. I wish I’d taken some pictures to demonstrate what was so bad about them.
* Erosion: water and mud pouring over walkways because too much irrigation was doing too little soaking.
* WEEDS: every planting bed that wasn’t maintained at least weekly was full of weeds, looking very unkempt.
* Compacted soil: many were large beds that had to be walked on to access, inevitably compacting the soil making it more difficult for the plant roots to expand and thrive.
* Ugly bare patches: ’nuff said.
These are all things that are meant to be remedied/prevented with mulch. I know I’ve said this many times before, but here are many advantages to organic mulch:
It covers the surface of the soil, so
* Our 10 months of rain won’t wash the soil away.
* Weeds blown into the area will have a harder time rooting. Those that are already in the soil (many seeds last for decades!) won’t see the light of day, so won’t germinate.
* And when weeds do grow, they are MUCH easier to pull out.
* Water evaporates first from the mulch before the soil begins to dry out (in our 8 weeks of dry weather per year).
* Mulch provides a more finished, attractive look to our garden than bare soil, which just looks…unfinished.
Do yourselves a favour–layer on 2-3 inches of organic mulch, and within just a couple weeks you’ll be thanking me for all the benefits you’re already experiencing!