Mulch is a layer of material spread on the surface of your soil, beneath and around your plants. Using mulch will benefit your garden in the following ways:
- reduces weeds and maintenance
- less watering and more consistent moisture levels
- moderates soil temperatures
- reduces soil compaction
- less winter-kill
- healthier plants
- attracts good insects like ladybugs
Ultimately, the right mulch will improve your soil, lead to healthier plants, and build a healthy garden ecosystem.
There are many types of mulches. At Grow Regina our guidelines for mulch are as follows:
Grow Regina approved mulch material such as compost, leaves, grass clippings, peat moss and cardboard. Mulch that easily decomposes each year.
Grow Regina unapproved mulch material: straw, wood chips, materials containing weeds. Inorganic mulch such as pea gravel, shredded tires, crushed rock. Mulches that do not decompose or decompose slowly over time are not allowed in our plots.
We found that straw not does not decompose well and also, straw introduces many difficult weeds that spread throughout the garden.
Wood Chips are used in the orchard to conserve water and for ease of maintenance. They are supplied by the City of Regina. Wood chips work well in the orchard but are not approved for the garden plots.
How to Apply Mulch
- Anytime after the plants have emerged from the soil and have passed the 2 leaf stage
- Weed the area to be mulched.
- Water deeply before and after applying mulch to ensure there is enough moisture in your soil for your plants to access.
- Water only when necessary that is when when the soil under the mulch is dry 1 inch beneath the surface. Check before watering to avoid over-watering.
- Apply your mulch evenly. Don’t mound it around around the plants stems leave a space. Spread mulch one to five inches thick in your garden bed.
- Wood planks, cardboard, landscape fabric and plastic sheeting can be used as temporary mulch between your garden rows.
- All of non-plant materials must be removed at Fall Clean up as you can not over winter non plant materials in the Grow Regina plots.