Supply Tips

June Week 3 View More Summer Tips

Soil Types

Take a minute to consider your garden's soil conditions before selecting a mulch. Most vegetable plants perform poorly in heavy, wet soil. This type of soil will usually dry out a bit as the season progresses, so don't cover it up with a thick, moisture-retentive mulch. Nor should a dry, sandy soil be covered with plastic mulch, because it would prevent rain and irrigation water from seeping down to the roots.

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June Week 2 View More Summer Tips

Mulch Basics

• Keep mulch at least an inch away from plant stems to avoid rot and fungus problems.

• Leave at least half your grass clippings on the lawn. They are an important source of nutrients.

• Clippings used as garden mulch should be sun-dried for a day or so. Do not use clippings from lawns treated with herbicides or toxic pest controls.

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June Week 1 View More Summer Tips

The Right Mulch for your Crop

Not all vegetable plants like the same growing conditions. Heat-loving peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and melons are great candidates for black plastic mulch. Applied in early spring, the plastic will raise soil temperatures and help warm the air around the plants. But most plastic mulches are not water-permeable, which means that as the season progresses, your plants may go thirsty. Inadequate moisture can stress your plants, lead to blossom-end rot problems on tomatoes, and diminish your overall harvest.

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