Mulching the vegetable garden

mulchbagsYay. My first mulch.  That is the milestone of the spring season.  I had to go down to town yesterday and in between errands I found my first sacks of compost.

My preferred supermarket hasn’t taken delivery yet. So I am making do with the slightly more expensive, slightly less heavy sacks.  And when I mean expense – these sacks cost just 2 euros 20 a bag. For 40 litres of compost.

But at least it means I can actually lift them onto the distant parts of the potager without staggering after the fifth load.  And the price for weed free and well fed soil is a bargain.

I am able to get 18 sacks into the car – and more importantly, wheel the heavy trolley through the Castorama shop without running into shelves and making a nuisance of myself.  mulchedstrawbs

Or should I say disgracing myself.  Fiercely independent and a feminist at heart, I find that I need to prove to large populations of DIY men that I can manage it by myself thank you very much. And don’t need any help in heaving the sacks into the boot.   I hate to generalise, but the trend here is for men to be manly, and some women to be fey.  So the more of us who can do it ourselves and not struggle is a good role model for both men and women.

I’ll need around 40 sacks in all to get the 17 beds in the potager well mulched and tucked up.  And I need plenty for the newly weeded and sorted verbena bonariensis bed behind.

But for now these sacks kept me busy. I’ll go back in a few weeks to town and start lurking round the supermarkets.

I did half the potager; plus the newly created strawberry bed at the bottom of the herb garden. And I was just in time. Weeds are germinating already here. And some tulips are popping up.

You can’t really see the differmulchingbedsence between the mulched beds and the bare soil. That’s one of the beauties of this method of smothering the beds. It almost looks natural.  It looks like I was up at dawn with a hoe diligently cutting the heads off anything green that isn’t wanted.

It won’t keep out all the weeds. Docks will appear no matter how much mulch I apply.  And some perennials will emerge.  But it saves me weeks of weeding throughout the season. Giving me time to get on with the more important things in life: like popping ripe strawberries into my mouth every time I walk down to check on the plants or empty the chook bucket onto the nearby compost heap.