The Garden at 485 Elm
People growing together:
a collaborative community garden in Montpelier, Vermont

Mulching for Plant & Gardener Health

Many farms around us were all out of hay mulch. We finally found a source, and brought home fifteen bales this week.

Why do we use straw and not hay? Straw has had seed heads removed. When we spread straw mulch, we’re not planting unintentional crops, i.e., weeds.

Mulching the soil around each plant helps maintain soil temperature and holds in moisture. That’s especially valuable in this unusually dry summer. Mulch also suppresses weeds. When the mulch breaks down, it adds more organic matter to the soil.

Less watering and weeding for gardeners is welcome. And the mulched beds are lovelier for us to look at.

Straw bales arrive, hauled in by strong gardeners.

Mulching leeks, shallots, and red and white onions.

Mulching alliums, members of the onion family.

Mulching kale.