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The First Church of Mulch

It is a faith of small, consistent miracles, damp soil, and hard work.

Also worms. Worms are in there somehow. We haven't worked all the details out yet.

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I've typically covered everything in wood mulch, and did so again this year...

...then had it pointed out to me that there's considerable debate about whether using mulch like that changes the chemical composition and pH of the soil, resulting in less healthy plants over time, and that doesn't even start with the folks who talk about whether the stuff the mulch was made from was treated with herbicides/pesticides or other harmfuls before getting chopped up.

So now, I don't know what to think. I'm considering scraping off the layer of mulch in our vegetable garden, which has started showing diminished returns the past couple of years, and using a layer of compost on the top instead. On the other hand, I don't know if that'll be effective much at keeping the weeds down.

Nah, I wouldn't. The science seems to be that yes, possibly there is a smidgeon less available nitrogen, but it's a minimal issue. I, too, have the slightly-less-productive-over-time veggie garden, and I didn't wood mulch the veggie garden at all until last year.

Micronutrients I think are the issue. I gotta throw down more bat guano and see what happens...

(Meanwhile, I should add, the non-veggie sections that I DO mulch are more and more wildly productive every year. I think veggies just exhaust the dirt.)

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