Sustainable Gardening. Week 8: Use Mulch To Help Retain Soil Moisture

This is another easy step, and a short one to write about. Usually you want to add 1 to 2 inches of mulch over exposed soil. You can use any of the following materials:

- Bark chips, leaf mold, lawn clippings
- Pine needles – great for acid loving plants like azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, etc.
- Gravel or river stone (in small areas only, and not too much as to compact the soil)
- cocoa hulls (mmmmm, smells good!) - BUT DO NOT USE IF YOU HAVE DOGS, it can make them sick if they eat it
- Other, fun stuff: glass pebbles, sea glass, tumbled ceramic chips

Note: Mulch may not be necessary in shady areas, as the shade helps keep the moisture in the soil. Also, mulch in a shaded area may be inviting to snails and other unwanted pests.

Check out this site if you want more detailed information on different types of mulch.

Click here for the 10 basic steps to Sustainable Landscape Design

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