Best Mulch For Vegetable Garden 2017: A Gardener’s Guide To Mulching

A short guide for busy-as-bee gardeners when choosing the best mulch for vegetable garden. Learn some tips and tricks and get your dream garden.

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Mulching the vegetable garden efficiently through red cedar wood chip

Mulching the vegetable garden efficiently through red cedar wood chip

Are you tired of watering with lawn sprinklers or weeding your garden every now and then? Are you worried about losing vegetable plants during cold days and hot summers? Fear no more because here is the ideal solution to reduce the effects of these obstacles – mulching!

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Mulching pertains to materials, which are spread all throughout the soil’s surface or around any plant, making it a protective layer. To simply put, the best mulch for vegetable garden serves as a ‘topping’ or an ‘icing’ to the soil.

Use organic mulch for tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.

Use organic mulch for tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.

Oftentimes, a wide variety of mulch can be purchased either in bulk or bags. Hence, it is vital to read honest reviews to know genuine feedback from customers. Most of the time, it includes bark and wood chips, hay, and straw that are readily available. If you are still on the fence regarding which is the best mulch in the market that perfectly fits your vegetable garden, you’ve landed on the right page. Save your effort and time spreading one of the following mulch over your garden:

What Do We Recommend? Here Are Our Top Five Picks

#1 Planters Pride- PlantBest Mega Mulch

Planters Pride- PlantBest Mega Mulch

Planters Pride- PlantBest Mega Mulch. Via: Amazon.com

If your focus is to improve the aesthetic appearance of your garden without using any chemical, PlantBest Mega Mulch by Planters Pride is a great option. As the best mulch for vegetable garden, it offers the most effective protection for your plants. This fantastic mulch is worth purchasing since this can last for about two years of continued use.

Moreover, it significantly helps in keeping away your yard against weeds through ensuring sufficient amount of water needed by your plants. This 8.8-pound mulch is specifically tailored to support your crop’s progress in holding the soil intact. Furthermore, this also averts soil erosion, which holds your yard in a better condition so that your crops grow healthy.​

Pros

  • It has no artificial ingredient.
  • It can hinder the weed growth.
  • It is cost-effective and worth the money spent.
  • It has a good scent, which is great for gardeners with a sensitive sense of smell.
  • It’s designed to last for more or less two years.

Cons

  • It’s not easy to identify visually if the mulch is wet or not.
  • It’s too dusty.

#2 Thunder Acres- 4 Pounds 100% Natural Wheat Straw

Thunder Acres- 4 Pounds 100% Natural Wheat Straw

Thunder Acres- 4 Pounds 100% Natural Wheat Straw. Via: Amazon.com

Hunting for the best outdoor animal bedding? Thunder Acres got something for you regardless of animal’s size. The manufacturer proudly presents 4 Pounds 100% Natural Wheat Straw which can help you end your mulching problems. Aside from that, it is also an ideal option for fall decorations. This straw has the ability to shade the soil, keep hydration, as well as minimize the weed growth in your garden. More than that, it’s the best mulch for vegetable garden, specifically for mushroom cultivation.

Pros

  • It’s an affordable outdoor animal insulation.
  • It has an easy to carry packaging and comes in a thin plastic bag.
  • It’s clean. It has an appealing color, light yellow to be specific.
  • It’s proven to be effective. Many users claim that it works to retain moisture and delay evaporation in their garden.
  • It’s soft and gentle.

Cons

  • Application of this item seems to be messy. Since this is so light, most straws can be carried away by the wind during your application process, and it might scatter all over your garden.

#3 Hydrofarm- Organic Coco Coir Planting Chips for Plants

Hydrofarm- Organic Coco Coir Planting Chips for Plants

Hydrofarm- Organic Coco Coir Planting Chips for Plants. Via: Amazon.com

Organic Coco Coir Planting Chips for Plants is the perfect solution for the better growth and development of tropical plants and flowers. It’s one of the best selection both for outdoor and indoor purposes and may serve as a hydroponic medium. This can be a good decorative groundcover as it attacks fungus and preserves water. Additionally, it also features uncompressed block which is equal to 2 cubic feet.

Pros

  • It is more convenient to store and carry as compared to the other products on the list.
  • It’s known as OMRI Listed Organic Product.
  • It spreads easily in your vegetable garden.
  • It has a reasonable cost without reducing its quality.
  • It lightens the soil, which is the key to growing healthy vegetables.

Cons

  • It’s sandy type of soil, which may not be suitable for other vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli.
  • Compared to other brands, it has many loose fibers.
  • It’s not resistant to mold.

#4 EZ Straw- Multipurpose Straw, Small Bale

EZ Straw- Multipurpose Straw, Small Bale

EZ Straw- Multipurpose Straw, Small Bale. Via: Amazon.com

Achieve your dream lawn through using EZ Straw Just Straw, one of best mulch for vegetable garden as a decorative display. This is packed with a handle for convenience purposes. And guess what? You can reuse this. Apart from that, you can also use this multi-purpose item as filler for bricks, fall displays, animal bedding, mulch for your flower pot, nativity projects, grass seed mulch and much more.

Pros

  • It is chopped, making it easier for users to spread around the garden.
  • It is made from high-quality straws.
  • There’s no known undesirable growth of straw seeds.
  • It works as advertised.

Cons

  • The packaging is too small, which means you need to purchase more in order to cover your whole garden.

#5 CedarCide- Cedar Mulch Granules, Insect Repellent

CedarCide- Cedar Mulch Granules, Insect Repellent

CedarCide- Cedar Mulch Granules, Insect Repellent. Via: Amazon.com

Are you looking for the least expensive, hassle-free cedar mulch? Then, you shouldn’t ignore Cedar Mulch Granules (Insect Repelling) from CedarCide. As what the name suggests, it protects your vegetable garden against snakes, fleas, and other dangerous biting insects. This toxic-free repellent is formulated not to harm beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. Likewise, it has also a fresh cedar scent as it created from aged red cedar trees, making it as one of the best mulch for vegetable garden.

Pros

  • It is environment-friendly, which is safe to use even in your front yard garden.
  • It is derived from one natural ingredient, and that is none other than, cedar tree. This contains more benefits than other commercial mulch products advertised on different platforms.
  • It can cover up to 3,000 square feet.
  • It is easy to apply, no need for mixing and specific instructions when using the product.
  • It is an appealing addition to every garden arsenal.
  • It fights against blight and fungus.
  • This can be used either outdoor or indoor.

Cons

  • Some users claim that it doesn’t work for bug control, which means that its insect repellent property may only be effective to some insects.

Why Is Mulching Important For A Vegetable Garden?

Based on the findings of Texas A&M University, researchers found out that a well-mulched vegetable garden could produce as much as 50% crops than an untouched garden space.

Mulching is essential for gardening as it can provide different benefits to your plants. This can greatly help in keeping the roots of the plant’s cooler. Not only that, but it also aids in holding the soil moisture, which guards off the plants to dry out rapidly. In general, mulching can also help in increasing the structure and fertility of the soil, especially for those vegetables planted in pots and containers.

Planting a blueberry bush with the help of black mulch

Planting a blueberry bush with the help of black mulch

The best mulch for vegetable garden is also imperative in maintaining the moisture level of the soil. The trees consume the nutrients and water by its absorbing roots. Without a suitable moisture level, the absorbing roots will halt its growth, and it will start declining during its drought periods. Mulching will reduce the drought effects by keeping the soil moist in order to be absorbed by the roots.

When mulch decomposes, it will act as an organic matter or fertilizer in the soil. In this event, it will reduce the soil compaction to allow the root to grow better. Mulching supplies micronutrients and humic acid to the soil in which improves the absorbing roots’ growth.

Another benefit of tree mulching is water conservation. The mulch will help the soil retain its moisture level, and as a result, it reduces the supplemental frequency of the irrigation needs. It is often misunderstood that when a tree is already full grown, it will not require any additional irrigation other than rainfall. Water and the soil’s moisture level are the most important factors that affect the tree’s growth rate. You can also try to setup a soaker-hose to reduce the irrigation requirement. Install it on the patch surrounding the tree before the installation of the mulch in order to make the water stay under the mulch so that you do not have to moisturize everything from the ground.

What Are The Different Types Of Mulch For Vegetable?

There are several types of mulch available these days. So, which mulch best fits your yard? These are as follows:

Different types of mulch which you can apply in your garden

Different types of mulch which you can apply in your garden

Straw

Most gardeners choose this as mulch for their vegetable garden because it is less expensive and easy to find. In using mulch like straw, the layer of straw should be six to eight inches in depth at the top of the existing garden soil.

You can lay rice straw (since it doesn’t contain any weed seeds) in the garden beds all at once. Wheat and oat straw should be sprouted to consume completely the weed seeds within them. Once the sprouts sprung on wet straw, you need to position it in your vegetable garden immediately to keep the straw from decaying.

Wood Chips

Regarding the availability, wood chips are available at the different garden centers, being in the form of chips of tree wood or tree bark. Depending on your aesthetic goals for the vegetable garden, you have the freedom to choose from its wide variety of sizes. Utilize a two to a three-inch thick layer of wood chips. Some of the trusted sites highly recommend allowing bark chips rot within one year prior to laying them at the top of the nitrogen-enriched soil.

Furthermore, the soil must also have sufficient amount of nitrogen before adding wood chips mulch. Basically, the decomposition period of the bark-chip varies on the size of the chip. Make sure to replace these types of mulches every three years or every other year.​

Leaf mold is one of the cheapest alternatives to commercial mulch products.

Leaf mold is one of the cheapest alternatives to commercial mulch products.

Leaf Mold

On the other hand, leaf mold is known as a partially decayed form of torn fresh leaves. Approximately 1 ½-inch layer (in thickness) of leaf mold must be used in the garden unlike when you use fresh leaves which must be three inches thick. Typically, leaf mold doesn’t consume nitrogen as compared to fresh leaves as soon as they decompose. Don’t try to add composted or fresh walnut leaves in your garden for the reason that the iodine within the leaves might destroy your plants.

Compost​

Are you still searching for the best mulch for vegetable garden? Compost is your best-answered prayer if you want to make a barrier against weeds which might interfere your plants’ development. A compost layer that is 2 to 3 inch thick must be done at the top of the soil. When you like to employ yard waste like grass clippings as a good mulch, you have to wait until they have decayed.

Green waste like grass clippings as compost can keep it from utilizing nitrogen in the soil during the composition of the waste. However, you can prevent weed development since seeds from other areas could be blown in your garden and take its root. If that’s the case, you can employ another type of mulch along with compost.​

Using brown mulch for the yard makes it less noticeable.

Using brown mulch for the yard makes it less noticeable.

Quick Guidelines When You Are Using Mulch

You have to adhere to these tips when you are using mulch for your garden:

  • Maintain two to three inches of layers surrounding the established shrubs, trees, as well as bedding plants. You can apply four inches in depth for coarse materials like pine nuggets, but you shouldn’t forget to let mulch collect into a great depth.
  • When you add more mulch, it might destroy the plants since the mulch is designed to intercepts irrigation and rain for the root systems of the plant.
  • As much as possible, avoid volcano mulching. Once the mulch is already piled versus the base of a particular tree, this will hold more water, promoting decomposition into the trunk. Also, mulch that is piled against mulch that is piled against those young trees’ trunks will also serve as a habitat for rodents who usually chew tender barks.
  • Go over the drip line or beyond that. Keep in mind that the mulching area surrounding the tree must be in the minimum of eight feet regarding the diameter. It has been documented that within the forest setting, the whole root system of the tree will be mulched naturally.
  • Don’t hesitate to rake the aged mulch. There are instances that some of the mulches change its condition, keeping air and water from leaking through. You can simply rake these coverings to help in your planting process and refresh the looks of the mulch. Then after this, don’t forget to clean your rake thoroughly!
Rake the old mulch slowly before putting the fresh ones.

Rake the old mulch slowly before putting the fresh ones.

Conclusions

Every product that is included in the rundown above is praiseworthy. They have unique pros and cons. Moreover, selecting the best mulch for vegetable garden is quite severe as they are all accurate for specific conditions. Be that as it may, it is strongly recommend to use the CedarCide- Cedar Mulch Granules, Insect Repellent. It is safe to use for everyone (especially for your kids) and is environment-friendly.

This reasonably-priced and effective product also boasts it’s organic mulch and chemical-free formulation, making it the top choice among practical homeowners. It’s always better to secure your family’s safety against any chemical poisoning. More importantly, when picking the best mulch for vegetable garden, it must not cause any harm to other useful organisms who plays a significant role in our ecosystem.​

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Lucy M. Clark
 

Hi there! I’m Lucy, and I’m a self-confessed garden fanatic. Gardening has always been a passion of mine and will always be my favorite pastime. Now that I am married and have one adorable son, I have the time to write and share my personal experiences with other garden enthusiasts like me.

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