Previously, you have learned about using plant supports, lawn edging, organic fertilizers, best garden soil mix, and the best plant to grow in a vegetable garden. Today, your list of gardening techniques will have a new addition as I introduce to you the best mulch for vegetable garden. I came across this technique as I have been searching on building my own vegetable garden. Well, most of you might not be familiar with “mulch” or normally called “mulching.” Mulch is used in gardening or landscaping to cover the soil for moisture retention, seed germination, erosion reduction, protection against weed growths, and physical aesthetics. To simply put it, mulch is a protective covering for plants against remote elements.
The kinds of mulch come in two categories: organic and non-organic. Organic mulch includes leaves, grass clippings, shells, wool, hay, peat moss, animal manure, and green manure. Organic mulch serves as a direct composting system as well, that’s why most gardeners recommend this. Meanwhile, non-organic mulch includes shredded newspaper, plastic, rubber, gravel, and rocks.
Of course, with the variety of kinds of mulch, people would be more interested to know which among them is the best for vegetable gardens.
The answer is, depending on the crop of vegetables you are planting, because each veg has different growing conditions. For example, vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, spinach, beets, radish, broccoli, and cauliflower are cool-season vegetables, which means they get stressed under hot temperatures and increased moisture so plastic mulch is a no no. They’ll be good on shredded newspapers or straw so that adequate air and water can pass through.
Another determining factor to know which mulch is best for your vegetable garden is the weather condition. In tropical countries, the most common mulches used are hay, grass clippings, and compost. In the North, plastic mulch and rubber are more common.
Now, do not be confused between lawn edging and mulching. You might probably think that both serve as a barrier to prevent weed growth, but basically, lawn edging is done between the lawn and the mulch. You get the picture? Mulching has more benefits for the maturing plant than lawn edging. Another confusion is the difference between compost and mulch. Although both are beneficial for improving soil conditions, mulch is not a fertilizer and is normally placed on top of the soil.
Even though placing mulch is beneficial to the plant and it improves the physical aesthetic of the garden, putting too much will only diminish the overall harvest; so take note of that. Use mulch judiciously and carefully based upon the vegetables you are growing on your garden.