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How to use mulch to keep your garden alive in drought

Image from article titled How to Use Mulch to Maintain Your Garden in Drought

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Multi is something miraculous. It keeps weeds at bay, fertilizes the soil, and minimizes the effects of too hot (or too cold) temperatures. Some types are repellent to pests. But the single best argument for mulching your garden is that it saves water. growing season.

Mulch can be a matter of life and death when gardening in hot, dry conditions. Or shrubs insulate the soil from high temperatures and greatly slow evaporation. That is, plants can actually absorb the water they are given. Mulch is better than no mulch, but the type of material you choose is important.

useLightweight, compostable material for vegetables and flowers

Lightweight, rough mulches such as grass clippings, pine needles, and straw are usually better for young plants and seedlings because they are not heavy enough to impede growth.Such organic matter eventually composts into the top layer of soilIn fact, these materials can be put back into the soil between sowings or at the end of the planting season.

The downside of lightweight mulch is that you need enough mulch to cover at least 2 to 3 inches of soil, or more. Also, since the mulch will compress and decompose, you need to maintain its depth. If that’s too high maintenance for you (or if you live in a very windy climate) consider wood chips. However, some wood chips break down too slowly to be returned to the soil, so if that’s your goal, choose a compostable variety.

use “MeInorganic mulch (aka rocks) for trees, bushes and hardy shrubs

Another option is so-called “inorganic” mulch, usually made from crushed rock.Inorganic mulch lasts much longer than the compostable variety It can provide serious protection against evaporation and weeds.For established hardy plants and shrubs, it’s an attractive, low-maintenance option.Be sure to do some research before covering your garden with pea gravel. Blog post from Texas A&M University’s Extension Program pointed, rock reflected, Retains far more heat than organic mulch which can have unintended consequences.

Remember that white rocks radiate sunlight and can generate too much heat for most plants to survive. . Note: This type of inorganic mulch is very difficult to maintain and keep clean under pines and other very small-leaved evergreens.

In other words, if you need to mulch plants in direct sunlight or under certain types of trees, rocks may not be the best choice.

enter the eexpert mode living multi

You can also choose With a technique called “living multi”, This is the practice of planting shorter plants as a ground cover or to fill gaps between other taller plants. You can grow a wider variety of vegetables (or flowers or whatever you like) than you can grow with mulching alone.

There are no easy shortcuts to choosing the right mix of short and tall cover plants. Different growing regions support different types of crops. Start by choosing what and where you want to grow, and check out our live mulch and companion plantation guides. Your specific hardiness zoneThis method definitely requires more planning and effort than other mulching strategies, but the results are definitely worth it if you have the time and motivation.

How to use mulch to keep your garden alive in drought

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