So I am starting over a neglected raised bed enclosed garden and have put down cardboard for the time being until I decide on the best mulch. Since the beds back up into trees, in the Fall there are a lot of leaves that even with a good leaf blower is hard to get all of them out of the enclosure.
Fallen leaves that get wet, mix into landscape wood mulch become.. compost that weeds & seeds grow into.
Any thoughts on the best mulch to counteract the weeds? I considered rubber mulch until I read a Mother Earth article that changed my mind. Or should I just go really thick this time on the wood mulch?
My second question is, I have Roots Organic 707 in my beds which unfortunately is super dry even with good soakdowns of water. What can I amend it with to get it to be come moist and attractive to microbes and earthworms so my seedlings can grow?
I'd use the leaves as a mulch, and then woodchips to hold them down.
Leaves do break down really quickly, but are great improvers of soil, at least for my garden. Leaves are nearly entirely decayed by spring in my area (so basically, they last about 4 months), but nicely improve the soil. Woodchips break down after about 2-3 years, so make better mulch.
I agree the leaves are great mulch. They're perfect for helping to build that soil that you're looking for as well as they can often contain minerals mined by the tree much deeper down than your plants will reach. If you've already put down cardboard then you can just mulch over top (sheet mulching). As for stopping the weeds, many people cover their beds with black plastic. This can cause the weeds to germinate much earlier in the spring than anything else then they die off because they can't get light.
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posted 3 months ago
I'm sorry I should have been more clear, I have a garden space that is backed up by trees and I wanted to know what would be the best mulch to put down on top of the cardboard on the garden area floor; since I get a lot of leaf fall in the later months. Should I just do thicker layers of wood chips on the garden area floor?
If you have them, wood chips will do a wonderful job at holding down the cardboard and over a surprisingly short period of time will break down into a nice bedding material. Certainly, when you get them, the leaves will only add more goodness (best if shredded, but add in any case). Maybe if you can find some greens you could speed up the decomposition (grass clippings work great for this).
Some places need to be wild
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