Deep mulch is a process of applying thick layers over soil to keep it moist during brutal hot temperatures.
Last week we already reached the mid 90’s so I spent the early morning hours getting the raised beds mulched.
This little detail actually decreases my workload with less weeding and watering.
Normally I use a natural wood chip blend, it’s encouraging when chip mulch works back into the soil as a nutrient booster. For some reason I thought, “What a about hay?”
Using the hay was a bold move and way out of my comfort zone. The idea is to apply a thick layer over the soil, this is where the concept deep mulch surfaces.
Let me be truthful, I prefer a brown surface in my raised beds, it just looks wonderful against the shades of green. So why did I think hay might be a better option?
It occurred to me that a bale of hay would run $10 and a bag of mulch would run anywhere from $5 to $7 each.
The idea of loading and unloading mulch sounded exhausting compared to one bale of hay.
Then I remembered the last time I purchased mulch the chickens made a mess of it. Normally this wouldn’t be such a big deal but I’m trying to decrease my work load instead of increasing.
After weighing the pros and cons I decided to swallow my pride and just go with hay.
The first step was to water the garden followed by covering the beds with a thick layer of hay. I really struggled then decided to get over myself and get the job done.
This concept of deep mulch doesn’t look horrible it’s just not my first choice, but I could see where it would make my life a little easier.
The hay helps keep the soil from drying out as fast and so far it’s been working great.
When the dirt stays moist the plants continue growing at a consistent rate which means harvesting will also be more consistent.
After each bed was covered I watered a little bit more to try and pack it down. I’m hoping we get a good rain sometime soon and then I can apply another layer.
This same method could be used with an open space garden, I think it actually might look better and would defiantly help conserve water and labor.
Last week I watered every other evening and the weeds have been minimal.
Then Sunday night after watering I noticed the ground was still moist from two days ago. I went ahead and add more hay and moved my watering routine to every third evening.
This deep mulch just may be the solution for making life a little easier.
By decreasing my workload I finally have a few evenings where relaxing is a possibility.
If you’re temperatures are taking over and draining moisture out of your soil then deep hay mulch might be something to consider in your garden.