Best Mulch for Veggies - Knowledgebase Question

Westmont, Il
Question by SGT_Student_
July 5, 2010
Hello! : )
Please help me. What is the best mulch to use for a vegetable garden? I've read so much conflicting advice. Is Cypress okay, or is there something better? Please advise. Thanks, Susan Thornton


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Answer from NGA
July 5, 2010

0

There really is not a lot of difference between organic mulch materials other than their appearance and longevity. All will help suppress weeds, slow water evaporation and help moderate soil temperatures and as they decompose they will provide nutrients to the roots of your plants. The larger the pieces of mulch, the longer it will take for them to decompose. Cypress is probably the longest lasting of all because it decomposes at a slower rat. Among those available, go with what you like the looks of best and is most affordable. If you plan on turning under your soil and adding fresh compost every year, which is needed for most gardens, plain old compost as mulch works great. It decomposes faster, so adds more organic matter to the soil. Then spread a fresh layer as mulch after planting. Larger pieces of mulch may get "lost" in the soil improvement process as you dig in, unless your rake it out of the way. (It doesn't hurt that it gets turned under, but you're paying more for it.) Hope this information sheds some light on the subject and helps you make that mulch decision.

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