5 November 2014

Like a bought one: the mulched garden

I got around to mulching our vegetable garden over the weekend. Last year I was reluctant, having read that my favourite mulch, pea straw, is processed by being sprayed with roundup. I'm not sure if that's true. I know it is for potatoes, though. How dare they?

Maybe this autumn I'll collect enough autumn leaves to mulch the summer garden.

Here are parts of it, before and after the mulching makeover.

"It looks like a bought one," said a friend to me once after having spread pea straw on her garden.

Last year I mulched just one garden section, and when the drought got bad it was the only place the tomatoes kept growing healthily. The soil underneath was friable and moist. Underneath other tomato plants it resembled a concrete pan, which the water ran off when I hosed. (That unpleasant condition is called hydrophobicity, the friend's husband informed me.) The plants died.

So now I am a committed mulcher.

Does anyone have other ideas for summer vegetable garden mulch?

Flowering phacelia: a great plant for beneficial insects
that sprouts and grows at any time of year. The bees adore it.

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