Mulching methods

My tender plants have now all been planted out. The only thing left growing at home (always the last to go out) are the leeks, which I’ll plant in the next couple of weeks.

In an attempt to (a) reduce the amount of weeding needed, and (b) conserve moisture, I have placed mulches around the courgettes, squashes and sweetcorn. In the case of the first two, it will also help to keep the veg off the soil where it may rot if it’s wet.

The courgettes have been planted through a doubled up sheet of weed supressing fabric (discovered hiding in the back of my shed).

The sweetcorn are sporting a very attractive little outfit made from cardboard (pinned down with metal pegs). Every little helps to keep the weeds down, though I might just be creating a slug haven here. A terrorist compound of the slug world where they’ll be hiding out and plotting their next attack.

And the lucky squashes have been given the deluxe treatment of a thick layer of Strulch. A mineralised straw based mulch. First time I’ve tried using this, so I’ll see how it goes at keeping the weeds at bay, as they’re usually pretty bad in this area of the plot. It’s not the cheapest option at nearly £10 a bag (2 bags covered the entire squash bed – roughly 3m x 3m), so I’d never be able to use it extensively on the allotment, but it will be worth it to keep this bed free from weeds and conserve moisture around the plants that need it most. It lasts for 2 years, so next year I can either dig it into the ground to provide nutrients, or rake it up and place it around the fruit trees and bushes.

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