I’ve always been a mulch gardener. I’ve never understood how anyone gardened without it. I couldn’t. The benefits that it offers far outweigh any disadvantage that it may have.
But as with most things — there’s always someone for it and someone against it. And whether I understand it or not — that’s just the way it is.
Recently a reader left a comment on my post 10 Reasons to Mulch. She said she had been a big believer in mulch, but she thought it seemed to add to her insect problems. She went on to say that the bugs seemed to hide in it and straw seemed to cause fungi problems in her tomatoes. Thus, she is not mulching this year.
It’s certainly true bugs will hide almost anywhere that is available — including in mulch.
As far as tomatoes and fungi problems, I’ve always thought that the mulch helped keep various fungi pathogens from splashing on the tomato leaves and thus served to help protect my tomatoes from fungi problems.
So I guess what it boils down to is that everyone sees it differently and has to make their own decision about whether or not they use mulch. To me it’s unthinkable to garden without it and I’ll probably leave this world carrying a load of mulch to my garden.
Benefits of mulching are many.
- For one thing it allows me to have gardens and borders that I couldn’t have if I had to be constantly weeding and tending.
- I’m not set up to water. We have a little over an acre. Other than our house, two sheds, the driveway, and a little grass – it’s all in gardens and borders. Mulch conserves water in the soil. So I still have abundant crops even under drought conditions — with no watering.
- Mulch adds organic matter to my soil and improves it. I don’t have to spend a lot of time with that — the mulch does it.
Before you make a decision not to mulch consider 3 of the most important benefits that I don’t know how you can obtain any other way:
- Rain compacts bare soil and sun bakes it. Mulch offers your soil protection from the elements. After you go to all the trouble to loosen your soil deeply and make a nice environment for your plants, why would you want to have that undone by rain, sun and wind?
- The organic matter in unprotected soil is much more quickly oxidized — or “burned” away by sun and wind.
- In the heat of summer the mulch acts to insulate the soil and keep it cooler — a condition that your vegetable plants will really appreciate.
Mulch is what makes the whole thing work.
Organic Gardening is easy, effective, and efficient. And it’s a lot healthier.
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