Garden Tip 43:

Everywhere you look this time of year folks can be seen spreading bark mulch onto garden beds.

It makes for a great fresh look in the garden as we await the flush of new growth soon to follow. I have found that many of my garden beds are quite full of plants in high season with little or no ground to be seen. Because of this I mulch these beds only on the front edge, going ten or twelve inches into the garden. This preserves moisture in the bed, discourages weeds, and eliminates yards of mulch that need to be spread!

Wood chips can be used as an alternative to bark mulch and are considered by many experts to be one of the best soil additives one can apply. Chips are made by grinding entire trees. Twigs, branches, bark and leaves all contribute to the mix and eventually break down adding nutrients and organic matter to the soil.

Whichever is used, a thin layer is preferable to inches deep.