Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mulching Tips to Prevent Weed Breakthroughs

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko
I've been in the process of re-mulching my yard recently. It wasn't really that bad--just needed a touch up along the edges of the beds--but armed with new information from Jolly Green Planet, I am more motivated. I learned the coolest tip ever for staving off weeds. My organic lawn care mentor, Vicki, made this suggestion and I quickly found it works great.

When replanting or re-mulching an area, layer thick sections of newspaper, catalogs, magazines and 1/4-1/2 inch sections of phone book (torn off, of course) snugly around the base of all plants. Covering all soil areas, this paper layer will block out light, thereby reducing weeds considerably. Because all these layers are made of paper, they will collect and hold water, serving as additional mulch to keep your plants and trees hydrated during dry times. Mulch heavily over the layers of paper and sprinkle generously with water to secure the position of all the paper and mulch. It will absorb considerable water, keeping it in place, and providing much needed water to the plants beneath. The insulation for the plant's roots will also be helpful during Winter freezes, as well, or so I've read. Winter freezes happen about every 3 years here in central Florida. No white Christmas's for us!

Of course, there are products at the home supply stores that are designed to reduce weeds. Two problems: Most are made of synthetic materials which could leach unhealthy residues into the soil, and they are expensive, particularly when compared to my suggestion above--newspaper. And of course this is not to mention the trouble it is to lay out and trim the stuff to fit over all your plants. Layering sections of newspaper, etc. is much easier. I guess that means that this budget-oriented tip is also a time saver. I'll be taking the dogs for a walk after I finish mulching this Pine tree. What will you do with the extra time?

No comments:

Custom Search