Spring Mulching

(Question)

I live in southern Etobicoke and would like to know the best time to mulch so that weeds will not have a chance to grow this year. Ours is a south-facing garden surrounded on two sides by a hedge. The soil has a lot of clay. We have the hedge, thyme, chives and rhubarb growing near to where the mulched area would be. Also, what type of mulch would you recommend? Should we mulch the entire hedge. We do get a lot of weeds growing in there. Thank you,

 

(Answer)

Thank you for your question.  You can apply mulch to your entire hedge once the soil has warmed up and dried up from the winter wet.  Weed the area before applying a 4-5 cm layer of mulch.  I use a shredded bark mulch in my garden and find that it is very effective at keeping the weeds down.  Any weeds that do come up are easy to pull.

As always when applying mulch, ensure the mulch does not touch the crowns or stems of plants to avoid rot caused by the moisture-retentive quality of the mulch. Leave about an inch (2.5cm) around the plant.

If you’d like to read more about using mulch in your garden, the City of Toronto has put together a good fact sheet on gardening with mulch.

Go to http://66.209.177.85/~torontom/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Using-Mulch.pdf  to access the article.