What do you use for mulching?

Growing(Last edited )

Hi experienced growers out there, what do you use for mulching? Now when I’ve seen the difference with only 1 cm of grass clipping on the GROW experiment plot, I can hardly stand to se bare soil in my other beds. I have a problem though, I can’t get enough grass clipping. I don’t have a car, and I can’t get straw. I’ve sown flowers such as Calendula to use as mulch later on, but now in early spring what to use?

I’ve understood that grass is excellent for nutrition and regenerating soil, and that old dry leaves keeps moisture but in some cases (if it is dug in) might draw nutrients from the soil? If so, I should be able to use dry leaves in my raised beds which have rich soil to keep them moist, and I should use grass clipping for my plots with sandy and poor soil for nutrients and moisture.

How do you prepare your beds in the spring (and in the autumn)? I would love to hear how you treat and feed your soil!

I created a blog for the experiments where I post images and notes: https://perfectbeginner.wordpress.com/

[Naomi edited to make link work]


Janna, I use a variety of things depending on the type of planting. In perennial beds I use rough wood chips I get from our local saw mill. I put it on deep and it breaks down very slowly. In the veg garden I use old bedding from my goat barn, straw, and some really dry grass clippings if there aren't a lot of seed heads. I also use the rough chunks I sift out of my compost in some areas.

Thanks Alan! Do you mind if I post this as a note on my blog/journal?

Janna, that would be fine. I will be interested in seeing what you do over time. I've enjoyed poking around your blog. Hope you continue.

Alan, that's nice to hear. I find the blog/journal very helpful and I'm very happy that others can enjoy it too. It's the first time it felt meaningful and fun to have a blog, thanks to you guys out there doing your thing.

Am using an unusual ground cover, bind weed. Its the rampant type, so doesn't climb much. Its growing in the new, mulched beds and the plants seem happy with its company. I hardly water and it'd very hot at the moment so I feel its green leaves might be beneficial in protecting the soil. Am chop n drop ing it as mulch.

Cardboard, compost woodchip. As its a first year garden its been a 'reclaim the soil' so far plants have been successful, planted into compost topped by a thick layer of cardboard and topped with wood chip. Acid loving plants have been given good layer of leaf mulch and again planted through card. Grass hasn't been cut much in the heat, and watering is manual

Most plants are doing well with the exception of 2 Minarette apple trees (I suspect wind exposure, as all 3 flowered but only one is producing fruit). Ants have also been an issue.

The soil itself is typical I think of the area, with a few inches of topsoil before hitting pebbles rubble from the original build of the property .