It used to be called 'trash gardening,' this practice of spreading peat moss, hay or some other material— generally organic, but not always—over the garden soil. Within the last twenty years, mulching has taken on new respectability, as experience has shown how valuable it can be in many environments.
In general, mulches modify and protect the growing environment, especially the soil, of plants. Mulches conserve soil moisture, keep soil temperature moderate, help control weeds (thereby reducing root injury from hoeing and cultivation, which are often unnecessary after mulch has been applied), maintain good soil structure (thereby helping to retard erosion) and improve soil fertility. Let's examine these benefits to see how mulches might be of help in your own vegetable plot
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