How to Reduce Weeding & Watering.
When observing how organic mulches work, we only need to see how nature works. Nature provides dead leaves, plants and twigs to the ground where they break down, decompose and create a natural ground cover. This cycle of life can be observed when walking through a woodlot providing new flora growth.
You can adopt this method in your backyard garden and reduce weeding almost 95% and can reduce watering 75 – 80%.
In the spring before you plant, when the ground is fit and if you practice mulching your garden, you may want to move aside some mulch so the ground can warm up and dry faster in the areas you want to plant. When your seedlings are about 4” high you can spread a thick layer of mulch material amongst your intercropped edibles and between your rows and adding some blood meal will activate the decomposition process of mulch. How much mulch you need depends on the kind you use. A thin layer of fine material such as sawdust, you would only apply ½” – 1” versus a thicker layer of coarse layer such as straw or hay you would apply 4” – 6”.
If you’re ordering mulch from a nursery, you will need to know how much area the mulch would cover.
Coverage of 1 cubic foot of mulch:
Divide 12 by the depth you plan on spreading the mulch and the result would be square footage it would cover.
Examples of one cubic foot of mulch would cover is 12 sq. ft. coverage at a depth of 1”, 6 sq. ft. coverage at a depth of 2”, 4 sq. ft. coverage at a depth of 3”, 2 sq. ft. coverage at a depth of 6”.
To determine how much mulch is needed to cover your garden, divide the total area of your garden by the sq. ft. figure you calculated above. The result would be the amount of mulch in cu. ft. you would need. For example 120 sq. ft. (20′ x 6′) area, covering 3”deep (coverage of 4) would be 120 divided by 4 which equals 30 cu. ft. mulch.
Prices may vary at nurseries, but try to use organic mulches compared to inorganic mulches. Whenever I mulch, I use available free organic material in and around our farm (straw, pine needles, grass clippings and wood chips that I store after I split wood for winter heat).
- Paul Smith