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mulching my community garden | Skippy's Vegetable Garden

mulching my community garden

Garden Work, My Community Garden Plot, Photos of my Gardens

It’s been so hot and dry! It early in the year to have this heat here. I don’t make to to my community garden more than once a week or so and the soil is just dust now.

To conserve water I used black plastic and chopped hay today. I laid down the black plastic and planted 18 tomatoes in it. Then I spread chopped hay around all the other plants. Finally I gave everything a good watering.

I used non-permeable plastic, which I don’t like as much as the permeable weed covers. But the plastic is cheap (it’s been sitting in my shed for a while…), it stops the weeds, reduces water evaporation, and reduces pathogen splashing from soil to plant leaves. It can also keep the soil warmer, but I think it’s warm enough here so I added a thin layer of chopped hay on top. I would have liked drip lines under neath the plastic but I don’t have them. I will be sure the plants get water in the holes so it can seep into the soil.

I really like the new chopped straw options on sale at nurseries now. The straw is usually heat-treated to kill weed seeds, shredded, and baled in plastic. They are an environmentally friendly option for salt marsh hay. Except for the high price ($20 a bale!) they are great. I used it as a weed block on my mother’s garden paths, and as a moisture and weed block in my home and community garden beds. It looks really nice and is a great option for a small garden. (For Aurelia’s Garden, 1/4 acres, we are about to purchase 20 bales of straw for mulch and it surely wont be the $20 a bale type.)

The plants in my community garden are growing surprisingly well this year I think. Last year the flea beetles had killed a lot of plants by now, especially eggplants. Earlier this year, they were in the cabbage and broccoli  , but seem to have gone away a few weeks ago. The new leaves on all the plants look pretty go0d.

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