If you’re a gardener like I am, then you’re well aware of the battles you have to fight to keep your gardens growing green and healthy. Drought, Blight, parasites, and diseases are typical gardener’s foes. And then, there’s the granddaddy of planting problems: dreaded, fast-growing, resilient, weeds. I’ve heard that weeds are Mother Nature’s way of beautifying the environment. I hate to admit it, but some weeds are actually colorful and quite attractive. But weeds have no place in a backyard garden. Fortunately, though, Mother Nature also gave us an excellent defense to use in weed control. All you need is homemade Organic mulch and the knowledge of how to properly use it.
There are many, many varieties of weeds. Some of the most common are Dandelion, Queen Anne’s Lace, Crabgrass, Thistle, Yellow Woodsorrel, and Chickweed, just to mention a few. But by using homemade mulch in your flowers or vegetable gardens, you can control weeds pretty easily.
There are many types of homemade mulch. Most homemade mulch is “organic”. This means that it comes from nature. You can use pine needles, grass clippings, wood chips, dried tree leaves and bark, straw, and even compost. You cannot, however, use any grass clippings if they have been chemically treated with weed control products, fertilizers, et cetera.
Besides using it for weed control, mulch is also beneficial to your flower and vegetable plants in many other ways. It helps retain needed moisture, it helps keep the soil cooler in the hot summer months and warmer in the cold, winter months, and it enriches the soil as the mulch decays.
There are two drawbacks in using homemade organic mulch for weed control. One, it deteriorates over time and needs to be replaced. And two, it can attract ants and other insects. But still, this is the most popular type of mulch that gardeners use to beautify their property and control weeds.
The best time to properly use mulch is when you place your plants into the ground in the springtime. You can actually use it anytime. But, wait until summer, and you’ll probably have to clear out unwanted weeds first.
If you use seeds to grow a flower or vegetable garden, then the best time to use mulch is after the seeds have sprouted and become established plants.
How much homemade organic mulch you’ll need to use, and how often you’ll need to replenish it to control weeds will depend on the type of mulch and the elements. Grass clippings, for example, decays quickly, so they’ll need to be replaced often.
To properly use homemade organic mulch, use grass clippings after they have dried out a bit. Otherwise, if you use fresh clippings right after you’ve mowed your lawn, the moisture in the grass will cause it to clump together.
Wood chips should also be used after they have been allowed to dry out. Pine needles can be used immediately, as well as dried tree leaves and decomposed compost.
Whatever type of organic mulch you choose to use, make sure that you apply an adequate layer to provide good weed control. Most mulch should be applied in a two to three inch layer around your flower and vegetable plants. Be careful with grass clippings and dried tree leaves, though, as they can clump together if they are applied thickly.
Then, to provide the best weed control, check the mulch from time to time to see when it needs to be replenished.