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!
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.
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!