Planting seeds / moving mulch


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Last year, I planted lots of perennial plants/flowers, trees, and bushes. we mulched around all of them. This year I have bought lots and lots of seeds (I’m a little dangerous around flowers) because I love the idea of self sowing annuals also. To save money I went with seeds. I have in the past loved growing zinnias and many other wild flowers from seed so I expect to have good success with all of mine. I have many different kinds that I want to plant in various beds. I’m hoping that over planting will help keep weeds out and the need for mulch will be minimal after this year.

But saying that, should I just scrape all the mulch away that we put on last year? It would be quite a bit of work but I want to do it correctly. I have read that some people just open up a little areas between the mulch and plant seed but I think that might actually be more work. Of course it would be nice to keep some mulch on the ground to help with temperature and moisture and weed suppression while my seeds grow, but my main concern with leaving some mulch down is that at the end of the growing season, the self seeding varieties will fall on mulch and then they won’t seed anyway.

My gut feeling is that perhaps I should just clear all the mulch off where I will be seeding. Perhaps I can mulch lightly around the perimeter of the beds to discourage outside seeds blowing in. i’m hoping
there will be some foliage left in the beds that I can leave up through the winter to perform as “mulch”, but I’m not sure. Any thoughts? Have you had success with overplanting and not mulching?
 
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Logan

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You can't sow seeds in mulch, you could scrap away lines and sow the seeds, but be careful not to sow them too deep only what it says on the packet.
 
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I'm experiencing a similar problem.

Every year (this time of year), I go around and pick up yard waste (leaves and sticks mostly) and throw it on the ground, much like a forest floor. So, my mulched yard is heavily mulched, very heavily.

My problem is that it's very difficult to sow seeds into my yard. The soil is fine, but there is so much in the way, such as sticks and a heavy layer of leaves and stuff on the ground, so much so that it takes a lot of work to rake it all away and then sow seeds. Then after all that, most of the seedlings get eaten away, because the leaves blow back over the racked up area, which is in kind of a depression after raking everything away down to the soil, then all the detritivores move in and eat away all the seedlings. It's kind of like releasing a bunch of babies in the forest and expecting them to survive -- their only chance is if a pack of wolves adopt them:D

My initial goal for the yard was just to attract more wildlife, which I've done by attracting so many more species of birds and other animals, including a snake I recently got a pic of. However, now I'm thinking about producing more food crops, but at the same time keeping much of the "weeds" that attract so much of the wildlife.

So I'm starting this year by making my own soil in very large plastic containers, which I throw leaves and weeds into and allow it to become basically a seed-starting type of soil, which I'll throw over an area I want to grow stuff and sow the seeds directly on top, where they won't get buried in the surrounding leaves.

But that soil won't be ready until next year. I know this is kind of like a raised bed, but I don't want to make any permanent raised beds (at least not yet) using hardware, since I seem to always be changing things up every year and I'm not sure how dedicated I want to be for growing cultivated crop plants.

So for this year, I just bought some cheap topsoil and composted manure and I've made a bunch of paper pots, using old newspapers and start the seeds in there and when they're about a couple inches high I plant them directly in the ground.
 
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The big question is - what have you used for mulching? The last time I used it I put down farmyard manure, which simply broke down over winter with the help of worms and enriched the soil, making it simple to sow seed in the resulting loam. If you have used other materials that don`t decompose readily the soil will not be enriched and artificial feed will be needed.
If that`s the case, it might be a good idea to sow all your seeds in seed trays or cell trays and raise the plants before you plant them out.
 
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What annuals are self sowing that last through the winters? What zone are you in?
Sorry for the delay, we just had a long lambing season, and I have a rejected lamb I have to bottle feed every few hrs.

I live in zone 7a, and I literally have all kinds. Just to name a few: zinnias, poppies, German catchfly, jasmine tobacco, echium blue bedder. Lots more as well. I’m starting some new beds so I’ll not have to deal with mulch there, but I’ll be scraping away areas in my older beds to plant for a more informal look. I want the garden to self sow as much as possible. As for what type of mulch, I have used wood chips. I’m also starting a veggie and berry area so lots on my plate.
 
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Sorry for the delay, we just had a long lambing season, and I have a rejected lamb I have to bottle feed every few hrs.

I live in zone 7a, and I literally have all kinds. Just to name a few: zinnias, poppies, German catchfly, jasmine tobacco, echium blue bedder. Lots more as well. I’m starting some new beds so I’ll not have to deal with mulch there, but I’ll be scraping away areas in my older beds to plant for a more informal look. I want the garden to self sow as much as possible. As for what type of mulch, I have used wood chips. I’m also starting a veggie and berry area so lots on my plate.

well none of those would survive my zone. Have a few self sewing perennials that make more babies. I don't mulch about where they are as the babies need the soil . Have learned to recognize new babies when I am weeding about, of which I just leave alone.
 

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