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Mulch Your Beds to Save Water, Control Weeds

Have you ever asked yourself if mulching your garden is worth the time and money? Well, the answer is a resounding “yes!” especially in our Fairfield County climate, with its hot summers and freezing winters.

Mulch is a layer of organic matter, such as shredded bark or wood chips, spread over the soil to form an insulating barrier. Here are some of the reasons you should start mulching:

* Mulch can help control the weeds in your garden without harsh chemicals.

* Mulch prevents moisture loss from the soil surface, which means you won’t be using the hose so often.

* A thick layer of mulch will reduce soil erosion caused by wind and rain.

* Mulch helps moderate the temperature of your topsoil. In the winter a layer of mulch can prevent freezing, and in the summer it will prevent the soil from baking in the heat.

* Mulch will slowly break down into your soil and turn into compost. This means richer, more fertile soil and healthier plants.

* A nice layer of mulch looks much more attractive than bare soil.

The first time you spread your mulch put down a good three-inch-thick layer. Keep it away from tree trunks and shrub stems or it might cause rot to develop. In subsequent years you’ll only need to add an inch of mulch every spring to keep your garden looking healthy, year after year.

There are several types of mulch. What sort do you use in your garden? Email me at fpearson@mainstreetconnect.us.

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