More Mulch in the Garden and I’m LOVING IT!

This weekend my husband finally got himself to the town transfer station to pick up some free mulch.  Free?  Yep, that’s right, free.  The town cuts down trees around power lines et cetera then shreds them and piles them up.  Then smart people like you and me go get some for free!  We’ll be using this mulch under our front bushes eventually but this trip went into the garden pathways and it is amazing!  I also have had some great success with my grass clipping mulch around the veggies.  Bye-bye weeds!

I’m a fan of free and I’m also not a fan of weeds so this whole situation is working out wonderfully.  The mulch from the town was actually a lot finer than I expected and they picked up enough to cover the ground really well.  They snuck out there and unloaded while I was trapped inside nursing the baby so I did not get to weed the walkways (some places they were pretty tall…) so there are weeds poking through in some places.  One day this week I will go out there and dig up the big guys but for the most part they were completely covered!  I LOVE how neat and tidy everything looks now.  At first glance (and even second or third) I look like a master gardener (if you skim over the beds where seeds didn’t come up or didn’t get planted at all!).  There is just something about the structure of my raised beds and neatly mulched paths now that is so appealing!  It helps that all of my plants are in full bloom and the foliage is dotted with ripening fruit and bright marigolds.

I’m totally in love with my garden!

I have big plans already for next year… expanding about 10 feet out the side (that’s increasing the whole garden by about 50%!)

So tidy and organized… even with the imperfect bed boxes (don’t look too closely)

Even the three un-raised beds are helped by the mulch. The zucchini here is spilling out into the pathway but now no weeds are poking up through the leaves.

The corn is in an un-raised bed too but still looks great! I’m planning just a low wall around all beds for next year to keep the mulch out and dirt in (some of the corn’s dirt has fallen into the pathway with watering).

hey there corn.

See how tidy and happy my little carrots are?  These are one of two sections of carrots NOT planted around tomatoes (these are planted in front of climbing beans).

The second kind of mulching I’ve been working on is using grass clippings from the lawn tucked in around my veggies.  So far I’ve used it around my carrots which makes for very slow going.  I’m weeding and thinning as I go which is never fun (I hate the idea of having to sacrifice some carrots for the sake of others… who am I to make that choice? lol).  It’s additionally hard because I planted most of my carrots under and around tomato plants.  I’ve heard that they are good companion plants (so far so good!) and I like the space I’m saving by doing it this way BUT because the tomato plants are bigger than when I first transplanted them they now overshadow the carrots.  It doesn’t seem to be inhibiting their growth much but it makes it hard to get under there and see what’s going on.

The soil around my little carrots has been kept moist and cooler than the surrounding, uncovered soil which can only help those roots grow and spread!

However, even if it is slow it’s SAVING me so much time later!  I would have already had to do repeated weedings if I hadn’t laid down the grass clippings.  I’m not even finished mulching all my carrot beds but the ones I’ve already done are staying done which I can’t appreciate enough!  Plus, they look nice.

My tomatoes and carrots are so happy together, though I wonder if the carrots ever look up and freak out that a giant tomato is going to land on them…

I’ve been saying a lot this post about how nice the garden looks and how tidy it is and neat.  These may seem like silly things to write about a vegetable garden, I mean what really matters is what you harvest, right?  Yes, but I think my harvests are going to be increased because of my efforts at neatness AND I’ll be putting a lot less effort into maintaining things which means I can work on IMPROVING things.  There is a lot to be said for order and structure (this from someone who can’t keep her living room, kitchen, or bedroom clean for more than five minutes if she’s inside the house).

Oh, and just take a look back at last year’s garden if you REALLY want to understand why I’m loving the structure and neatness so much this year!

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2 responses to “More Mulch in the Garden and I’m LOVING IT!

  1. This is pretty amazing. I’m a wanna-be gardener but I don’t have a backyard, so I’m practicing my green thumb with a pot of zucchini on my patio. So far so good; I see one 3″ zucchini that’s already green with others on the way.

    Your garden looks so neat! It even looks like square foot gardening a little bit, what with the raised beds.

    • I’ve heard of that square foot gardening but never really explored it. I like the idea of fitting a lot of stuff in small spaces and using ALL the space you’ve got. Next year my focus will be on planting earlier and then replacing crops throughout the season–when one finishes, like my peas, replace it with the next batch of seedlings that I will have started elsewhere 🙂 It’s good to have goals haha. Have you tried peas or beans in containers? They are “verticle” plants so you’d get a lot out of a small area.

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