Mulched for Winter
Last year I didn’t exactly mulch my garden, and oh man were there serious weeds to contend with. Last fall I planted a cover crop of crimson clover to enrich the soil, with the nitrogen it fixes on its roots. This year, I didn’t get around to planting it in time. (The clover took a while to grow, and just wasn’t as fast as the weeds. I felt like they’d be completely overrun if I scattered seeds in mid-December.)
It’s been unusually dry for this time of year, so the weeds are not ahead of me just yet. I dug in a load of compost, from the compost bin at my old house, and supplemented that with two bags of compost. (If you have to buy bagged compost, which most of us living in cities do, make sure it’s good quality. I use E.B. Stone’s planting compost. It’s organic and from a local company.) One of the other gardeners at the community garden brought a big bale of hay to share. So I spread it over the top of my plot as a mulch to help abate the frenzy of weeds that will come with the rain.
I don’t have all that much growing there right now. The chard, portuguese kale, perennial african blue basil, thyme and chives are still thriving. January isn’t exactly planting time so I’m letting it all rest. Planting things close together and gardening year round like I do can take quite a bit of nutrients out of the soil. So the compost replenishes it. And the nutrients from the compost will work their way into the soil for when I get back to planting in early spring.
Happy gardening in 2012…
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