When we began our Organic Gardening Journey one of the most essential books we read was “The New Organic Gardener” by Eliot Coleman. One of the key things we learned from this book was the importance of mulch along with its many benefits:
Dark colored mulch increases the benefits of the sun for plants
Prevents weeds from growing
We are almost finished mulching our garden. We wanted to wait until all the plants had sprouted. For the most part what is going to sprout at this time has sprouted. Some seeds never sprouted for varies reasons. We choose to go with a black mulch to maximize the sunlight benefits. Although, it is so hot this summer (in Norfolk, VA, USA), we hardly think we need to intensify the benefits. It is great for watering with the sprinkler system. Instead of water pooling and slowly seeping into the ground, the water is managed by the mulch. It slowly releases the water into the ground without pooling.
Most people have never heard of using mulch in a garden. Many have used dark colored plastic to cover the soil and discourage weeds while promoting growth. What are some Organic gardening techniques you are aware of? Do you use any of these techniques for your house plants? How else do you use these techniques?
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As we shared with some of you already, we are hoping to make some additions to the garden that we think will prove helpful. One of those additions is Mulch. Besides being really attractive Mulch, has many benefits for a garden particularly the Mulch we selected. It also left us with a couple quest
ions as we take this Organic Journey. Let’s look at the benefits first:
Dark soil (or medium, in this case Mulch) increases the benefits of the sun. As an artist I know color theory. Black (in this case our Mulch is Black) absorbs all colors while lighter colors reflect certain colors and this is how the eye reads color. So black is the inclusion of all the colors that the sun rays have to offer reflecting no light. As we know light promotes plant growth.
Mulch also starves weeds of sunlight discouraging their growth
We understood color theory, so that had us pretty excited about what this mulch could do. So we took a trip to the local garden store and found Mulch by the bag. You can also get Mulch in bulk. But, this typically needs to be delivered or picked up and is not bagged. Because of the size of our garden and the fact that we are going to lay our Mulch down in stages and allow some of our seedlings to sprout into plants before laying the Mulch to make sure their growth is not hindered, we decided to get our Mulch by the bag. We picked up a bag of Mulch for $4 a bag, which covered one row. We are very excited about getting the weeds under control and look forward to the day when they do not appear at all. The Mulch should help us with this. Anytime you can save time in the garden and spend it doing other things in the garden, it is a good thing. We are hoping the Mulch is a game changer for us like the Soil Blocks were and that it saves us the time it takes to constantly weed.
As usual, we will be watching closely to see how our plants respond to the addition of the Mulch to the garden. Laying the Mulch down in stages will give us a great opportunity to compare how the plants with and without the Mulch are doing. We hope the benefits of the Mulch pay off big for the garden. We are all looking forward to a bountiful Harvest this season, so we are doing all that we can to promote such ends.
As we stated before, we had some questions about the Mulch and Mulch in general as gardeners and consumers. The Mulch & Soil Council has a certification and label for Mulches. However, they are very vague about pesticides and other content in their certifications. Since this is an Organic Journey this raised questions for us. Why so vague if (and it is) Mulch is used in gardening. Their standard may not be high enough for the Organic Gardener and other options maybe more suitable. We plan on asking them about their certifications and raising our concerns as Organic Growers. We looked carefully at the package ingredients, which were forest matter and colorant. While the ingredients did not seem alarming, we know that you can not always judge a book by its cover. Stay tuned for an update on this certification and label.
What did you learn about Mulch that you did not know? What do you think of the current labels and certifications that are on foods? We will be talking more about what it means to be certified organic and the organic labels you see in your local grocery store. How can we make food production more transparent to the consumer? How would you shop differently if you knew more about your foods? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!
If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.
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