This is my first time gardening. I live in Portland, Oregon.
I made a mandala style bed and then put straw on top of it. Now I am wondering if it was a mistake to put straw on it. The reason I did was to suppress weeds and grass from returning from where I dug and to hopefully break down and retain water and add matter.
I was planning on direct sowing most of my vegetables and maybe buying starts. I also was going to throw in some wildflower seeds.
Should I remove the straw until the plants have sprouted a few inches above mulch level then put the straw back down?
I notice when I leave cardboard on the ground for a day, I will find slugs on the bottom it. Will they move into my garden bed because of the mulch?
I am including pictures to give you an idea of what I have done this month and what it looks like.
Any questions or advice is much appreciated, and if there is already a good thread on this I am sorry for reposting.
Joshua, great looking garden bed! Slugs will find there way to your garden with or without the hay mulch. They decimate crops for some and are not really a problem for others. If they do become a problem you can sprinkle some diatomaceous earth around the base of the plants they are going after. It's a natural product that acts like tiny shards of glass against their soft bodies. I have found that they go after some plants more that others but they are not a huge issue for is so we don't bother doing anything. This being your first season you will learn a lot about your site specific challenges. Ask your neighbors that garden what varieties they plant and what pests they deal with. Even if they are traditional chemical farmers there is a lot of knowledge there you can glean off of. Plant as many different varieties as your budget will allow this year so next year you will have a good group of plants that like your environment to work with. You have gotten off to a great start and I wish you well.
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