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Choosing the Best Mulch for your Garden

there are many good reasons to mulch

your garden mulch helps control weeds

it keeps the soil moist and it looks

good hi I'm Kathy la liberté for home

click comm today I'm going to show you a

couple of different kinds of mulches and

how to use them in your gardens for

mulching around trees and shrubs wood

chips or shredded bark are best these

mulches are inexpensive attractive and

will last for a season or more I tend to

use shredded bark around shrubs close to

the house and wood chips around trees

and on pathways put down a 3 or 4 inch

layer of mulch no thicker and keep it a

few inches away from the stem or trunk

to avoid causing pest and disease

problems if the area has been mulched

before rake off some of the old mulch

before applying a fresh coat when bark

mulch gets to be 5 or 6 inches deep it

can cause more harm than good Plus as

the old mulch breaks down it becomes a

welcoming place for weeds to grow in my

perennial gardens I prefer to mulch with

compost or leaf mold when perennials are

mulched with woodchips or bark those

materials take nitrogen from the plants

as they start decomposing compost and

leaf mold actually add nutrients to the

soil and feed your plants they also have

a darker color and finer texture that

really sets off the plants leafmold is

nothing but crumbly moist partially

decayed leaves I've never seen it for

sale but you can easily make it yourself

just collect leaves in the fall and

store them in a large bin or in plastic

bags

mix in a shovel full of soil and wet

them down by spring they'll have

partially decomposed and will be ready

to use as mulch another great mulch for

perennials is cocoa shells they're also

dark and finely textured and for the

first week they'll make your garden

smell like a chocolate shop some people

say the chocolate and cocoa shells poses

a threat to dogs because they might be

enticed to eat them my dogs have never

been interested in eating cocoa mulch

but if you're concerned avoid using it

in the vegetable garden straw is my

mulch of choice it's readily available

easy to handle and it improves the soil

as it breaks down straw is the stem

and leaves of oats barley or other

grains that have been harvested

avoid using hay it's full of weed seeds

and will introduce all kinds of

additional problems to your garden

weight to mulch your vegetable garden

until early summer when the soil is nice

and warm and your plants are large

enough to stay above the straw simply

tuck handfuls around the plants lifting

up the foliage as you go a four inch

layer of straw is usually plenty

you can also mulch the paths of your

garden with straw when I do that I lay

cardboard down on the soil first and

then cover it with straw

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