Trying To Decide On A Mulch? We’ve Got Answers.
There are a lot of mulches out there to choose from. Narrowing down the best one for your vegetable garden or flower bed can come down to multiple factors. One of the most important characteristics in mulch is its composition – is it an organic or inorganic option? There are plenty of inorganic mulches out there from rocks and gravel to rubber and plastic. For the purposes of vegetable and ornamental gardening, we recommend steering clear of any mulches that aren’t natural or organic.
“Any natural mulch is better than no mulch at all.”
- Joe Gardener
Spreading mulch on your vegetable or flower garden has many benefits.
- Mulch reduces erosion
- Maintains soil temps
- Slows the spread and proliferation of weeds
- Helps soil retain moisture
- Feeds the soil as it decomposes
- Mitigates diseases
- Protects tender seeds during germination
In this blog, we’re highlighting our favorite natural and organic mulches for veggie and flower beds and some of the pros and cons of each.
Compost is a nutrient-dense mulching medium that you can make yourself. Compost attracts worm friends that help to aerate and feed the soil – they are a great addition to any thriving garden party.
If you go the compost DIY route avoid throwing in pet waste, weeds, meat, bones, citrus, or foods super high in fat content.
We carry our own proprietary blend of organic planting compost here at Molbak’s as well as a biodynamic compost from Malibu Compost called Bu’s Blend. Both are great options for veggie and flower beds.
Straw is one of our mulch favorites here at Molbak’s. Why do we love it so?
- It provides great coverage for your money
- Simple to spread
- Can leave on the soil at the end of the growing season
- It conserves water
- It’s easy on the eyes
Here at Molbak’s we carry HealthiStraw. It’s one of our go-to mulches. Not only is HealthiStraw family owned and operated on the Canadian prairie it was designed with the urban gardener in mind. Why we love it?
- Clean, seed and dust free
- Comes pre-shredded
- Prevents weeds
- An amazing water conserving mulch
- Improves the health of your soil by adding nitrogen and carbon
- Protects new and established veggies, herbs and flowers
- One bag covers 20 square feet
Bark mulches are durable and easy to spread. If you opt to go the bark mulch route we recommend going with a cedar, pine or hemlock variety. Bark mulches can be more expensive than other options but when you consider its longevity it is well worth it.
If you’re considering adding a bark mulch to your veggie garden you should opt for pine or hemlock bark.
- Easy to spread
- Quickly improves soil
Arborist Wood Mulch
The best thing about arborist wood mulch is that you can have it delivered to your house. Signup for Chipdrop and get on the waitlist to have chips dropped off in your driveway.
While arborist wood mulch is free it does have some drawbacks. For one, it’s a heavier mulch which means it’s not great for seed germination. Second, it’s the ugly duckling of chips. While we don’t recommend putting arborist mulch directly into your veggie beds, it’s great between beds and at the base of other edibles like blueberries and raspberries.
Shredded leaves are a great pollinator and bird habitat during the winter and provide soil with rich, organic matter. You can easily shred dry, collected leaves in a garbage bin with a weed whacker or yur mower. Be on the lookout for leaves that may be infected or infested with pests.
- Easy to access
- Decompose quickly offering nutrients to soil
- A DIY mulch
- Certain leaves, like oak, are great for acid-loving veggies
Looking for more garden tips and tricks? Check out Molbak’s blog or head to our events page and attend a gardening class or workshop.