Have you seen the new trend?  How to deep mulch the garden with hay? Or maybe, it’s just new to me.

Yes, I thought it was silly at first too.  My husband thought I was crazy to even try to deep mulch especially with hay.  He kept telling me the hay would seed and make the weeds grow like crazy but you know what?  It didn’t!
deep mulch
A few years ago, we gave up the traditional tilling method and started container gardening.  First, I put a layer of weed control fabric.  You know, the stuff that only works for a short time.  The weeds start growing on top of it.  Then, we added a layer of crushed gravel around our raised beds hoping to control the weeds.  This worked for a few months but the weeds quickly got out of control everywhere except where I deep mulched around the tomatoes.
mulch2
This year, I decided to deep mulch the whole garden even the path around the beds.  Sceptics kept telling me I would make the weeds worse, but you know what?  It works like a charm!
mulch
I love spending time in my garden now!  Here’s the steps we took this year to keep weeds at bay and it’s been the easiest gardening year we’ve ever had.

  1. Prepare the beds in spring by pulling any weeds that have grown since the last season (this is minimal).
  2. Add new soil.
  3. Weed eat any grass or weeds that have grown around the bed or fence.
  4. Add a layer of deep mulch all over the area, about 8 – 10 inches. Hay, straw, or leaves can be used.  I choose hay because I have it in my barn for cattle.
  5. To plant, spread the mulch apart, leaving a strip of dirt.
  6. Plant seeds as normal.
  7. As the seedlings pop up,  pull the mulch around them to block weeds and conserve water.

The mulch keeps the soil more moist so less watering is needed.  I have to add more deep mulch 2 or 3 times in the growing season but that’s so much easier than constantly weeding the garden.  We’ve even had some pretty good storms and the hay has stayed in place.
At the end of the season, I cover the beds with chicken poo and leave it to fertilize during the dormant months.
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