Surviving the winter months is important for any gardner, or producer. Cathy Isom has a few tips about why you should be winter mulching and how to do it right. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
Mulching is an important part of gardening, even in the winter. The main reason to apply winter mulch is to protect your plants from the damaging conditions of winter. Winter mulching keeps the ground frozen by blocking out the warmth of the sun. When you apply the mulch, it helps keep a steady temperature that locks the plants in dormancy. It stops new growth that might take place during those pesky and short warming spells.
Another benefit of winter mulching is that it helps to conserve water in the soil. The ideal choice for winter mulching is anything that is loose and insulating. Whatever mulch you decide to use, it needs to be organic and degradable, so that the nutrients can break down into the soil. Some ideas that might work include: shredded mulch, pine needles, straw, shredded needles, cut boughs from pine trees, aged compost, and sawdust. Don’t use anything inorganic or not found in nature like plastic sheeting, rubber pellets, artificially dyed mulch, stone, or crushed pebbles.
Remove your winter mulch before planting your spring crops. It’s best to wait for any and all dangers of a hard frost to pass. Then, you can remove or gradually thin out the mulch.
I’m Cathy Isom…