Mulching my garden is something that I have never really thought about. However, I am realizing it is of upmost importance. When you think about a healthy forest, what do you see on the ground? Lots and lots of mulch. No bare ground. I think nature knows best so our gardens should try to resemble what happens in nature.
What is mulch?
Mulch: a protective covering (as of sawdust, compost, or paper) spread or left on the ground to reduce evaporation, maintain even soil temperature, prevent erosion, control weeds, enrich the soil, or keep fruit (such as strawberries) clean. Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Why wouldn’t we mulch? These benefits can make or break it for a garden. Our plan is to use mostly wood chips as mulch, with compost mixed in to add nitrogen. I bought a used wood chipper at a local garage sale for $120, and with the help of a few strong men, loaded it into the backseat with my baby! They thought it was a very interesting purchase 🙂 It needs a little tuneup before we can use it so I used chopped hay in the meantime. I spread a pretty thin layer around as many of my plants are still seedlings. Once everything is a little more established we’ll add lots of wood chips with compost, and just keep adding as natural breakdown occurs.
Yesterday it was HOT in Kitsap! Recorded high was 75, but my front yard was probably a few degrees warmer because of the western exposure. I watered my garden in the morning, spread my mulch, and in the heat of the afternoon, everything was still perky and the soil moist! YAY!