Winter Gardening Tips #1 Mulch It Matey

Get off the sofa and get mulching. January in Atlanta is a great month for watching college football bowl games, the NFL playoffs and guess what else? Mulching your plants and garden beds. When the fire is warm inside and it is cold outside your plants are begging for a warm blanket to protect their roots from freezing. Later in the spring natural mulch turns into natural nutrients that feed your plants during the warmer growing season. And the real benefit for you is weed control in the summer. All those nasty weed seeds hiding in your garden soil will stay dormant if they don’t get any sunshine next summer

Getting started mulching is easy. Here are my tried and true ways to keep your plant’s roots warm, feed them later in the year and Control weeds in the summer. Listed are my “go to” methods for controlling weeds in your gardens.

Mulching with Store Bought Mulch

Just go to your local garden store, Home Depot or Lowes and my convenient bags of 100% natural mulch. I know you are not stupid – but don’t buy the rubber mulch. Wood mulch will decompose and provide nutrients later in the year. As I am writing Home Depot is charging $3.33 for 2 cubic foot bag of Vigoro Natural Wood mulch. ” Each bag covers 8 sq. ft. at 3 in.” You get a discount if you buy 30 or more bags. Home Depot also delivers for a fee and they sell mulch in bulk – more on that later. These individual bags are easy to handle and you can dump them out right where you want them without using a wheelbarrow

Mulching with Bulk Delivery Mulch

Another way to get comparatively less expensive mulch ( and arguably better mulch) is to get a bulk delivery of locally harvested and processed wood mulch. You can get this online from your local big Box store or a local landscape supply company. Servscape is a consumer-friendly landscape supply company that fills this niche nicely. As of this writing, they are charging $235 with free delivery for 5 cubic yards of natural mulch.

Brown Double Ground Natural Mulch contains 100% natural tree grounds that are processed and dyed with environmentally safe colorants.   Before dying, the product is double ground to ensure great quality and is both ASTM and IPEMA certified for its play safe characteristics.  

This product is currently offered and delivered in (5) cubic yard increments.  Customers are limited to 15 cubic yards per order. 

5 Cubic yards is the equivalent of 25 wheel barrows or 68 standard 2-cubic foot bags. 

**Please note that this product is delivered via dump truck and will require an approximate 10′ x 10′ dump area that is easily accessible from the road and/or driveway.  

Make Your Own Mulch

Just roll your lawnmower over a pile of leaves a couple of times and you can make your own mulch. It is not as long lasting as the ground wood options but it is better than leaving your garden naked all winter.

Mulching with Composted Soil and Mulch

If you are going to the trouble of mulching your garden – why not go ahead and add a layer of composted soil at the same time. My absolute favorite top dressing for perennials or vegetables is SOIL3. Follow this LINK to learn more. It comes in a big yellow bag and is delivered right to your driveway. I really, really like this stuff. It is made in Fort Valley Georgia. Just add your mulch right on top after you spread a layer about 1 inch thick on your garden bed. Can also be tilled into your vegetable garden.

Soil3 is  humus compost comprised of grass clippings from our sod farm, wheat straw from our farm, and cow manure from a local dairy. We compost using a high heat method (160º) and add mycorrhizae. Beneficial microorganisms naturally colonize the compost as part of the process. You can use this compost as safe organic matter to improve your soil.