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Mulching around raised beds

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Mulching around raised beds

Post  twangster on 6/1/2012, 9:17 am

I am tired of mowing and weedeating around my cinder block raised beds because the grass/weeds get up in my soil and it's just a mess. I'm thinking of laying down some of that black fabric and mulching with gravel or crush and run because it's cheaper than wood mulch. Does anyone have any experience and/or advice on this before I jump in? Thanks for your help!
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Re: Mulching around raised beds

Post  brenda g on 6/1/2012, 10:43 am

twangster,

I'm pretty new to SFG but have had experience with rock mulch -- I know it's cheaper than bark and looks nice initially but personally I do not prefer it for two reasons:

1) It is difficult to remove if you change your mind later or even to add new plants to. Using fabric beneath it might make future removal a little easier, but you'd still have more work to add new plants. If the area you want to use this in is truly "set" then this may be less of an issue for you. Rock mulch also shows debris more than a fiberous mulch, so is sometimes harder to keep looking tidy. Darker colors of rock would make the debris less obvious.

2) Rock mulch does help keep weeds at bay, and helps some with moisture retention but it adds no organic value to the soil - and gets in the way if you decide to add compost to your garden later.

I have an aunt who has been gardening for decades and has always mulched with grass clippings from her lawn. As long as you aren't using chemicals on your lawn this is a free mulch for your garden that will add nutrients, keep the soil moist and warm and keep weeds down. If you don't like the look of it, you could try mulched up leaves from your yard (just be aware that certain leaves - especially oak- can be acidic and some plants don't tolerate too much acid in the soil).

Another thought to keep in mind if price is the only thing keeping you from using bark: garden centers often have sales on the bark throughout the season -actually I think the current special at home depot is 5 bags for 10$ - or if you can put up with your garden as-is until the end of the season, the bark (at home depot for sure) goes on sale for 50% off (just over a dollar a bag).

Hope this helps and whatever you decide - good luck in your battle against those weeds!
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Re: Mulching around raised beds

Post  walshevak on 6/1/2012, 10:58 am

I agree with stone mulch. Will never, ever have it in my yard. Some info in this thread about why. http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t12551-need-tips-on-how-to-prepare-and-overgrown-plot#123827

Kay

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