Leaves are changing, mums are popping up, and pumpkins are making their seasonal debut on porches all over Wisconsin. All of the fall decorations have us thinking about our fall garden preparations and fall mulching options. Investing a little extra time with your garden now will benefit you when it’s time to replant in the spring.
All exposed soils should be mulched during the fall and winter months to ensure high quality soil for the next season. There are a few ways mulch can help maintain the soil’s quality. Mulch creates a barrier to suppress weed growth, which saves you time from weeding and saves your soil’s nutrients. It also helps retain soil’s moisture which is often lost through morning dew and evaporation. Mulch acts as insulation to help protect soil and roots from frost and cold temperatures, creating a gradual decrease in temperature and maintaining a consistent temperature through fickle early spring weather changes. So, what mulch options do you have for the fall?
Live mulch, or cover crops, are used to replenish the nutrients in the soil. There are a variety of live mulch options to use including rye, buckwheat, and clover. These crops are grown quickly and are removed before seeds are released. This is a good option if your garden soil is in need of a nutrient boost.
Leaves and Grass
Fresh grass clippings, ones that are still green and have no pesticides, can be lightly raked in with soil to provide a nutrient-rich supplement to the soil. This will help both soil health and the bacteria, fungi, and worm health. Dried out grass clippings and leaves can be added to the top layer of soil as a mulch option. Using this as a top layer mulch will help retain moisture and provide insulation. Make sure there are no weeds in the grass clippings to avoid any additional weed growth.
Compost is a great mulch option that can take you all the way from fall into spring! The compost layer will help retain soil moisture throughout the cold months. In the spring when it is time to replant, the top layer of compost can be tilled in with the previous year’s soil to provide a nutrient rich soil that is ready for spring crops. Compost provides the soil with nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus which will provide a strong, healthy start to your spring garden.
Wood mulch is a great option for fall and winter soil coverage. This wood option decomposes more slowly than grass and leaf options for longer lasting moisture retention, insulation from cold temperatures, and prevention of weed growth. Double Shredded Hardwood Mulch is a uniformly sized natural mulch option with no dye added. Great for long lasting fall and winter soil protection!
Have Keleny mulch delivered right to your home so you can protect and nourish your soil throughout fall and winter. After all, it takes a healthy, well-nourished worm to know good dirt!