MULCHING, mulching, mulching . . .

Prepping the onion beds
We are fortunate here in Annisquam MA. The marsh grasses that wash-up on a high tide are available for the taking in a few places plus are a nuisance at a local marina. The owner is happy to have us take loads away. In the winter and the spring we collect and pile the marsh grasses beside the gardens. Seaweed is available after a good winter storm and can be collected. It is a great workout, better than going to a gym!

We like to uncover the gardens in the fall removing the materials that have been there all season, add a layer of chicken manure (also available from a friend who keeps chickens), then a layer of seaweed. The sun and the snow will break down these items for the most part by late winter/early spring. Either before or after planting we add either newspaper or cardboard in the paths and cover with the marsh grasses. Well, that is the plan anyway.

As many of us know, the gardens sometimes get ahead of the mulching scheme. We have found it is never too late to mulch. With the high temps this summer we have been adding mulch as we replant and around some of the established plants as well. They are happier because the mulch holds in the moisture and moderates the temps a bit. We are happier because the mulch keeps the weeds down in the paths between the rows of plants.

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