The Q&A Archives: Mulch And Vegetables

Question: I have planted a vegetable garden with tomatoes, peppers, squash, basil and cucumbers. For aesthetic reasons, I have mulched the garden with pine bark mulch. Will this present any problems as far as insects go or should I remove the mulch and maybe replace it with hemlock or cedar.

Answer: In my experience the only possible problem with the heavier wood-based mulch is that slugs may hide under larger chunks (if you have used the chunk type rather than the shredded type) and the mulch may possibly tie up some of the nitrogen at first until it begins to break down. To compensate for this you could use a foliar feed a few times or add a little extra nitrogen fertilizer and/or compost. In the long run it is a good mulching material and will help feed the soil as it breaks down.

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