If that corner garden has become an unsightly jungle, this guide will help control those weeds while protecting your plants from the summer heat.
Step 1: Choose mulch type Choose either organic mulch that will provide your garden with nutrients or inorganic mulch that can withstand the elements and not decompose.
Step 2: Collect organic mulches at home Collect organic mulches around your yard such as grass clippings, dead leaves, bark chips, and composted fruits and vegetables from the kitchen.
TIP: Start a compost pile to provide your garden or flower beds with an endless supply of minerals and nutrients.
Step 3: Purchase inorganic mulch Purchase inorganic mulch such as crushed stone, plastic chips, and glass beads from home and garden centers.
TIP: Inorganic mulches are best in high traffic or heavily-used areas such as playgrounds or hiking paths.
Step 4: Time your application Mulch after the ground has warmed as covering the soil too early could trap cold, moist air; it can also stunt plant growth and allow diseases to flourish.
Step 5: Weed and aerate soil Weed and aerate the soil before applying your mulch. Mix in any fertilizer or manure at this time.
Step 6: Protect small plants Protect small plants and seedlings using wire tomato baskets and keep 1 inch of open soil around the plant.
Step 7: Apply correct amount Apply 2 to 4 inches of bark, wood chips, and grass clippings. Apply 3 to 4 inches of leaves and compost. Reinforce over the season and enjoy the favor you're doing your garden.
FACT: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, yard debris and leftover food scraps make up 26 percent of the solid waste in U.S. landfills.