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Marvelous Mulch

Marvelous Mulch

Mulch protects the soil, prevents weeds, and provides nutrients to make rich, loamy topsoil. It keeps too much water out, and enough water in.

  • When to mulch: In the spring and fall (after the ground is frozen for those in the North).
  • How to mulch: Cover all exposed soil with 2 inches of mulch. This will help prevent runoff during heavy rains.
  • What to mulch with: Nutritious mulch includes dried manure (age six months before spreading), wood chips (contact your town road crews for a possible source), corncobs, leaves (just make sure they are torn up leaves so they don’t mat), grass clippings (from unsprayed lawns), pine needles, hay, stones (they retain heat—helpful in northern climates—and protect the soil from torrential rains), straw, seaweed, peat moss, sawdust, and many other natural, organic materials. Black plastic spread over the soil is used to eliminate weeds and retain the moisture of the soil, but won’t impart any nutrition to the soil.
  • Is green manure a mulch? Green manure is not actually a mulch, but crops that are planted in soil to protect the soil from runoff and to provide the soil with nutrients. Traditional green manure crops include clover, winter rye, or alfalfa. The crop is turned into the ground the season after it is planted. A great USDA-devised mulch system for tomatoes uses the green manure groundcover hairy vetch.

Read more: Nature, Lawns & Gardens

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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5:25PM PDT on Aug 12, 2012


11:05AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

Thanks for the info.

6:48AM PST on Jan 30, 2012

I cant wait to own a house and have a yard :/

4:25AM PDT on Aug 11, 2011


3:30AM PDT on May 21, 2011


8:09PM PDT on Apr 21, 2011


2:20PM PST on Feb 3, 2011

so great! thank you for sharing this info!

3:09AM PST on Feb 10, 2010

Good information thanks

8:17AM PDT on Jul 5, 2008

I love the smell of mulch

10:28PM PDT on Apr 24, 2008

I know I already said this, but to make sure it's seen by a few more people, .....

.........I WISH THEY HAD MENTIONED NOT TO USE CYPRESS MULCH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are losing the protection to our coast and our wetlands because they cut down whole cypress trees and grind them up into mulch.

Don't use Cypress mulch.

And if you do use any mulch, don't use so much as you see people using today, those are our trees.

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