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Northeast Regional Reports

Mulches to Conserve Moisture

Mount Hope Farm patio garden newly planted and mulched with buckwheat hulls. Photo: Kristin Green.

When spring is as cold and wet as this one has been, it can be hard to imagine the soil will ever dry out. But here in the Northeast, we know how widely the pendulum swings. A rainy spring will likely be followed by periods of summer drought. To help keep your garden from wilting between now and the occasional summer thunderstorm, spread a layer of mulch after planting.

Mulching regulates temperatures and slows evaporation. Weed suppression is an added benefit, but it’s never the be-all, end-all of mulching. Some weeds will always find a way through. Contrary to popular belief, mulching doesn’t affect soil pH.

Not all mulches are created equal. Some are better suited to your garden’s design and plants’ needs than others. Some are free, or will at least fit your budget, while others are a splurge.

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