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Prevent Weeds in the Garden by Using Mulch

One of the main reasons people shy away from maintaining their own garden is because of the time associated with its care.  Having to continuoulsy weed a garden plot is the biggest time commitment and one of the most labor-intensive chores.  However, for this gardening season I did not (and will not) pluck one single weed.  How did I manage this?  I used straw as mulch around my plants as weed prevention.

The tomato plants

My first banana pepper of the year!

What is mulch you ask?  Mulch is any material applied to the surface of your garden for protection (there are other benefits in mulching other than just weed prevention).  In our community garden, I have seen other gardeners use newspaper, black plastic, old carpet backing, grass clippings, leaves, and wood mulch.  My husband has farming connections, so we always have a way to obtain some straw for our garden!

The best time to put your mulch down is right after you plant your plantings.  As far as reapplying, we didn’t have to add any more straw to our plot this season, but we did last year.  Just keep an eye on things and reapply mulch once you start seeing some bare spots or any weeds popping through.

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