Does anyone side dress with mulch?

Discussion in 'Tomatoes' started by rio_grande, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. rio_grande

    rio_grande Smoking Fanatic

    Was concidering using some mulch or leaf compost on the garden this year for weed control and extra nutrients,, Does anyone do this?
  2. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I do big-time.I use it for weed control and moisture around plants.I grow near water in full sun with sandy soil that bakes hard.

    As far as extra nutrients i compost like this,leaf only.I add plantone to holes and liquid fertilize with fish emulsion and foliar spray with sea-weed extract- to stay certified organic.

    This double shredded compost was started christmas day 2007 and is mixed(4-5) shovels in each hole with plant-tone every year.

    I shread the whole leaves i have in large pile near compost to make a mulch.I don't till deep-only enough to get my cover-crop turned in and a 3-4 inch layer of shredded leaf mulch is all i use.I will be mulching in next week after cultivating around plants.VERY wet here.
  3. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm with you on the weed control, and for nutrients this technique will help you too, though long term- meaning next season.

    After we put in our plants, lay down about 3 or 4 layers of newspaper sheets, opened up, around them. Our local paper is printed in soy ink, so no worries on chemicals. Just make sure you do not use the "slick" or advertisement sections...different paper and chemicals. Then we cover with 4 to 6 inches of straw and make sure it's wet down well so the newsprint conforms to the ground beneath it and stays moist. It will block all sun to the weeds and prevent any germination while working with the straw to keep the ground damp all summer long, even in august. If you plant seeds (like in our cucumber rows in pic below) just leave the area clear. The plants will soon enough take over and block out weeds. In this pic, cucumber seedlings to the left, tomatoes to the right-

    This method has worked well for us and makes the garden look nice all summer long. The best part about it is that by late fall, the newsprint has disintegrated into the soil, the lower portion of the straw has too, and you can just till up everything in the early spring to replenish the garden. Looks well tended, and not a bit of weeding all season.

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