Sunday, August 12, 2012

Shoulda Used Mulch

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I kinda dropped the ball, and left my new garden nekkid, while I took off for two weeks.  I came home to a garden filled with full grown weeds, some larger than my actual plants.  So without further ado, I'm off to finally buy some mulch!  Apparently the number one way to keep the weeds at bay, is to use mulch!

Not to mention, mulching flower and vegetable gardens will not only greatly reduce the amount of time spent on your knees weeding, it also helps with watering and fighting pests. Mulch also looks nice, and it keeps dirt from splashing up on your flowers and vegetables when it rains.

I am going for the wood chip type mulch, but there are all kinds of things you can choose.  Oyster shells, stone, newspaper, leaves....  The organic mulches are made out of a material that used to be living, such as bark, straw, leaves, grass clippings and pine needles. These mulches add nutrients to the soil as they decompose and also encourage earthworm activity.  (He he.  "Earthworm activity".  What is that, like, do worms have summer camps where they have "activity day", making little potholders for their moms?)

Anyway, if your buying wood mulch it can be pretty overwhelming trying to figure out how much to buy!  Mulch is usually sold by the cubic yard, and if you're anything like me, you'll stand there, starting at the pile of mulch bags, lost and confused deep in thought...


Save yourself the stress, because here’s the easiest way to figure it out:


1. First, find out the area you want to cover in square feet. In other words, multiply the length of your garden by the width.


2. Next, decide how deep you want your mulch to be, in inches. A couple of inches is usually sufficient.  More is not necessarily better.


3. Now multiply the size of your garden in square feet (#1) by the depth of your mulch in inches (#2).


4. Divide the number you get in #3 by 324. This is the number of cubic yards of mulch you will need to cover your garden.

So, there you have it.  Mulch 101.