Mulch it!

 Before addressing the mulch material we carry, we believe in mulching to keep soil in place. We are advocates of No-Till gardening in the veggie garden for many reasons. Here are a few:

A nicely mulched garden not only looks great, but saves you work by helping to suppress weeds and conserves water.

A nicely mulched garden not only looks great, but saves you work by helping to suppress weeds and conserves water.

  •  Microbial activity below the surface is left undisturbed

  • Precious water is conserved

  • Weeds are suppressed

  • Soil temperature is moderate

  • Prevents soil erosion from wind and water 

 One of the challenges to mulching is that it can set up cozy conditions for slugs and insects such as cutworms and squash bugs. Ugh! We manage this by pulling back mulch from newly set plants, placing collars around individual plants, and continually monitoring for first signs of damage. You may need to apply natural pesticides such as iron phosphate for slugs or Spinosad for insects. This is a small price to pay, considering the benefit to mulching.

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 What do we carry for mulches? Straw is our biggest seller. It is the most cost effective for the vegetable garden, for light mulching on newly seeded lawns, and for general erosion control, and even for building contractors who need to keep ground from freezing.

 Lucerne is an excellent mulch in the veggie garden or in the strawberry bed. It is a chopped hay and straw combination that is heat treated to eliminate weed seeds. It settles in nicely, and won’t blow away.

Mulch hay may become available during haying season when excessive moisture has made feed hay unfit for animal consumption. Remember that it does contain weed seeds.

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Penn Mulch is a pelleted mulch mainly used over newly seeded lawns. It expands with moisture, thus protecting germinating seed from drying out. It is similar to the mulch used in hydro-seeding.

 Our most popular decorative mulch is coco shell. Folks love its rich color and chocolate aroma. It is light-weight but settles well and is long lasting. Keep this mulch away from dogs, as it is harmful when ingested.

Shredded cedar mulch is also very popular. It is dark in color and repels insects. Hemlock mulch is available if you prefer a reddish natural color. We never stock dyed mulches.

 The old stand-by 3’x100’ rolls of black plastic is labeled as a mulch, as is red plastic rolls or sheets to enhance tomato production. We carry both.