When it comes to mulching, you can’t really go wrong. As long as you use organic matter to layer your garden, there’s no way you can harm it, and in fact, you can only help it. There are, however, some organic matters that work better than others.
In order to get rid of weeds invading your flowerbeds, there are some ways to keep them out.
Let me show you some of those “better to use” mulches and explain their individual benefits. They are organic mulching.
Because it is a combination of organic matter, compost is probably the best mulch you can use on your garden.
It will offer nitrogen, carbon, and plenty of moisture to your plants, in addition to performing the standard duties of mulch.
You can also check out another post about composting.
Many people use wood chips because they are accessible and pretty to look at.
Wood chips decay slowly, so don’t use them as mulch if you’re looking for your mulch to add a lot of nutrients to your soil.
Also, choose your type of wood chips wisely, picking the kind that will best benefit your specific plants.
Hay or Straw
This is also a pretty accessible form of mulch. The major benefits to hay or straw are their ability to block out the sun to the soil.
If you have a serious weed problem, hay or straw as mulch would be the way to go!
Very similar to the benefits of wood chips, but because sawdust is already physically broken down, its nutrients can be offered to your plants much quicker.
However, it is best to apply the sawdust once it has begun to rot a bit from moisture. Dry sawdust is a fire risk, so apply it moist and keep it moist.
Using these as mulch can be pleasing to the eye and offers many benefits.
In addition to helping insulate the ground, pine needles are very good at maintaining moisture in your soil and inhibiting weed growth.
In addition, because the needles end up being stuck together, they are an excellent way to help cut down on soil erosion.
If you do not have compost, you probably at least have a pile of leaves, right? Whether you realize it or not, a pile of leaves is a very simple version of a compost pile.
Spreading leaves as mulch will offer many of the same benefits as spreading compost-just to a lesser degree.
Like leaves, a pile of lawn clippings is also a version of a compost pile. Let the clippings dry-out (so they’re not all clumped together) and then spread them as mulch.
Using grass clippings as mulch not only helps your garden but also helps take care of the problem of “What do I do with all these grass clippings after I mow my lawn?”
So how to use the organic mulching?
Clear any existing weeds from the area to be mulched, you can layer newspaper down across the area but leave room around existing flowers, bushes and trees. Leave areas where perennials are supposed to pop up open.
The newspaper will help the mulch and it is biodegradable so it will eventually disappear itself. Spread mulch over the newspaper covering 2 – 4 inches (5-10 cm) thick. Less than 2 inches (5cm) will let enough light through to the soil that any vegetation you are trying to prevent will reappear gloriously.