Go Forth and Mulch!

If you live and garden in an arid climate, water can be a major consideration. At 107 Garden, water is concern number one. Drought conditions, water restrictions, and threats of fines for water waste, give me pause even when judicially watering vegetables and fruit trees.

As I water the garden with potable water,  I think about places in the world where water doesn’t simply come out of a faucet. Potable water. As much as we want, whenever we want it. I am thankful for the water.

A wise woman once told me there are no new or unique ideas. Over the years, I’ve learned so much from the garden here at 107, and sometimes I think that I am having a unique experience.

No mulch pictures…but this is the result of mulching!

Alas, I am not having a unique experience.

Recently, someone mentioned the film Back to Eden. Paul Gautschi, the gardener in Back to Eden, lives in the Pacific Northwest and his garden strategy is mulch, mulch, mulch, and more mulch.

Damn, I haven’t thought of something new.

Last fall, we hauled in more than a dozen truckloads of mulch and compost. And we are getting ready to bring in more mulch this year! We rush against the coming rains and cool weather. As November neared and the first rains were predicted, I looked out our bedroom window with huge satisfaction at the mulched garden and some rain had arrived. Although naked for the winter, all of the trees looked so happy, and the seeds that lay dormant germinated. Throughout the winter it was surprising to see all the new little plants volunteering!

There is great satisfaction in taking a trowel to the garden and showing a visitor that the soil is moist, full of worms and other soil creatures, and smells so wonderful. 

As weeds became a rarity in the garden, I thought it was because I was such a diligent weeder. even though I don't spend much time weeding. In reality there were not many weeds because the soil no longer supported weeds, but had moved along in succession  to easily support healing and cooking herbs as well as trees and perennial vegetables.

How?

Mulch.

Resources can be limited—including time and money; however, each inch of mulch can bring a bounty of value to the garden. Weeds are no longer a problem. Watering becomes less frequent. The garden paths become soft and spongy to walk on. Little homes for soil microbes are created, and Mother Earth is dressed.

So, go forth and mulch!

Resources

  • Film: "Back to Eden" (2011). www.backtoedenfilm.com
  • Tree trimmings from friends and neighbors
  • Local tree trimming companies
  • Municipal green recycling programs