Will I need to turn/till soil under mulch every year ?


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Hi,
I'd like to plant some vegetables directly into the soil in a part of my garden (roughly 25'x25'). In the past weeds really got in the way and were a daily chore to get rid of.

I understood one solution is to roll landscaping fabric, cut slots where the plants would live, then cover all around with mulch.

My question is - how do folks that apply this approach do things the next year over ? the only point of worry from that point on is the small slots where the plants live, or is there more work involved ?
I hope my question is clear enough, thank you.
 
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Hi,
I'd like to plant some vegetables directly into the soil in a part of my garden (roughly 25'x25'). In the past weeds really got in the way and were a daily chore to get rid of.

I understood one solution is to roll landscaping fabric, cut slots where the plants would live, then cover all around with mulch.

My question is - how do folks that apply this approach do things the next year over ? the only point of worry from that point on is the small slots where the plants live, or is there more work involved ?
I hope my question is clear enough, thank you.

Do not bother with fabric. That idea is for decorative gardens which you will not disturb for years.
 
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Weeds are the most adaptive of plants, the best solution to them I know is a hoe. if you dig over, then make it a regular job, it is not too onerous. It chops the weeds off when they are still seedlings and creates a tilth. That is a layer of fine chopped earth on the surface that protects it from drying in the sun. Hoe once a week or so and it is a case of moving the tilth about once it is established, be sure to plant things far enough apart you can get between them easily. The plants grow better for a bit of extra room as well, cramming in all you can is a false economy.
Another solution is to mulch with something biodegradable, such as hay, and clear small spaces for your plants, then just plonk a handful of hay onto any weeds that make it through, a spell of dry weather and wind can lead to the mulch migrating next door though, and personally I do like a tidy looking garden. You also have to source the mulch of course.
With a really excessively weedy plot I have in the past hacked it down with a sickle, mulched with old carpet, then planted potatoes in slots. The potatoes are vigorous enough to cope with most things that grow through the slots and the carpet rots and can be dug in, make sure it is natural fiber though, artificial fiber strands are a pain, applying a lighter will soon tell you.
Best of luck, enjoy your garden and the produce it gives you, Olly.
 
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Do not bother with fabric. That idea is for decorative gardens which you will not disturb for years.
Do you need to use the whole plot to grow vegetables? Start with a small section of ground clear the weeds then cover the rest of the plot with old carpet or cardboard leave for twelve months this stops the weeds from growing. Don't try to do too much in one go.
 
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Thanks everyone.

Yes, I'm taking one small bit a time, but this patch of roughly 25'x25' I'd like to at least clear up in one go. I'm using organic hemlock mulch whenever I need to mulch, assuming I can turn in into the soil next year as it will eventually compost.

Fwiw, the weeds we have around are indeed very adaptive and have been able to grow through whatever we threw at them (albeit a carpet was not one of those), hence the landscaping fabric idea.

I don't mind at all tending for the garden, but I recall from past experience weeding became a daily task come June.

I guess I can answer my own question when I think about it more, and yes, the soil at least around the area I'm planting will need be turned around at least every new growing season, so I have to account for that and plan the planting areas carefully, like everything, this will need to be a learning experience.
 
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I guess another question would be - How close to a tomato or a pepper plant can I apply mulch ? can the mulch close in all the way to the stem, or a radius of some size needs to be left clear with bare soil ?
 
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Put the mulch around the outside of the plant not up to the stem at least 2 to 3 inches thick.
 

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