I've been gardening for several years, but new to mulching. Here are my
experiences so far:
1. I have a large evergreen shrub that sheds a few leaves at a time all year
round. I gathered these leaves up and took some off branches that had been
pruned. I don't have a leaf shredder, so I just layered them as is around my
strawberries that were newly planted. Within a couple of days all had blown
2. I thought peat moss would be a good mulch, so I put it on my flower
garden about 1/2 inch deep. It retained water much better than the soil
alone did. I also heard that peat moss suppresses the bacterial growth, so
maybe I shouldn't use it?
3. I also have a honey locust. After the leaves fell in the fall, I gathered
them up, and put them in my flower bed. This definately retained moisture,
but I guess that's not what I wanted in the wet spring. Some of my flowers
rotted as the came up, others never came up. When I noticed this, I quickly
removed the mulch from around the new plants.
It's very dry here in the summer (zone 6, Idaho), so I know I want to mulch,
but not sure how to do it. Do I completely remove it in the spring while
it's wet, then replace it when it starts getting dryer? Should I keep it
away from ther base of the plants? How about winter mulch? Cover the whole
plant, then uncover in spring? Just the base of the plants? Don't cover the
plants at all?
Any help or comments appreciated.