Save Water with Mulch

by Sheryl Simons

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My Neighbors Mulch My Garden

Simple Composting

Makin' Mulch

Besides discouraging weeds, mulch is a huge water saver. Every year I have mulched my tomato plants with black plastic and barely needed to water my plants unless it was very dry. If I do water them, I water only near the stem of the plant, directly through the plastic. I rarely sprinkle a whole garden, with the exception being my strawberries. Most of my plants I water directly near the base of the plant. Why water the paths and in between the plants where only the weeds are trying to grow? Black plastic also eliminates blossom end rot, for some reason, and really grows nice clean tomatoes. In the evening a couple nights a week, my husband Richard and I tend the garden. One weeds, while one waters. It only takes a few minutes and it's more fun with a friend. It's nice to have someone there to notice the peas coming up, or when the corn peeks up through the dirt!

If you have planted any seeds in your garden such as flowers, radishes, peas, or any other direct seeded plants, they need to be watered once or twice daily until they sprout. Seeds need to be moist to sprout, and if they get dried out first, they will never sprout. Kind of like our kids. They need constant attention and nourishment to sprout, don't they? A never ending job, but a labor of love with many rewards. Mid-summer is not too late to get a few more plants in, especially short season crops like peas, beans, or radishes.

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