Mulching the vegetable garden is a wonderful way to keep weeds under control and feed your garden soil. In this post, I’m going to teach you how to mulch your garden with grass clippings from your own lawn. It’s free, easy to do and enables you to make the most of what you have!
If you haven’t already read this post on preparing grass clippings for mulching purposes, I highly recommend you do so before going any further!
Then, let’s carry on and learn what we need to know!
Mulching Suits Most Gardening Methods
Everyone has a favorite way of growing vegetables! It doesn’t matter what yours is; this mulching method should work well on your garden.
In this tutorial, you’ll quickly discover we prefer to plant in wide rows (pictured below), that the information given is specifically geared toward this style of gardening. It’s my favorite!
How to Mulch Before Planting Seeds
Cover the row-to-be-seeded with dry grass clippings, to the depth of 1 inch. Starting at the far side of the row, break a pathway across it’s width. Go through the mulch, down to bare soil. No need to dig into the soil; just expose it.
Once accomplished, continue making row after row. Be sure to leave adequate space between each one, as directed on the back of your seed packet.
Take the seeds-to-be-planted. Following the package’s instruction, set seed on top of the open soil at appropriate intervals. That’s right! Just set them on top. No need to push them into the dirt.
Once the prepared area is seeded, take a bucket and scoop up some fresh dirt. Break up large clumps, until the soil is suitable for covering seeds. A good rule of thumb is this: the smaller your seeds are, the finer your dirt should be!
Once the soil is prepared, go ahead and cover your seeds to the depth indicated on the seed packet. If needed, firmly pat the soil into place.
Topping the seeds with soil instead of attempting to dig by the fluffy mulch keeps the two separate. When your seeds appear, you’ll know exactly where and what they are!
Water as normal. Watch as the seedlings appear beside your weed-suppressing mulch!
How to Mulch For Transplants
Mulching for transplants is even simpler. The quickest way is to mulch the entire row with 1 inch thickness of dry grass. To put in transplants, remove a handful of mulch at necessary intervals. In each bare spot, dig a suitable-sized hole and pop seedlings into the ground. Pat soil down around the roots, then snuggle your mulch back around the base of each young plant. Water as normal.
If you live where the weather isn’t hot enough to dry out grass clippings before transplants are set out, go ahead and plant. When you do have dry grass clippings, mulch around the vegetables.
If weeds are present (yes, even tiny weeds), they ought to be removed before you mulch. To do so, disturb the top layer of dirt with your fingertips, dragging the soil (and tender young weeds), to the side.
After the weeds are out of the way, apply your mulch. Cover the soil between and around each plant, being sure to put down a good inch.
In the beginning your transplants may look dwarfed among the puffs of dry grass. Not to worry! The plants will soon grow far beyond and the grass will compact after a few good waterings!
How to Mulch Between Rows
Mulching between rows (your walkways) is also a nice way to cut back on weeding hours! Apply it in a thick, 1 inch layer. To establish a very sure, weed-free walkway, spread cardboard the length of it, then cover it with a hefty layer of grass clippings.
Mulch for Container Gardening
If you practice container gardening, you can (and should) use mulch! Not only will it suppress the weeds, but it will also feed your soil and help lock moisture in. So go ahead and fly at it!
Know That Mulching Isn’t Totally Weed Proof
If your garden has been neglected in years past and nature has had free run of the soil, you’ll still have to pull some weeds! Don’t be discouraged by this. Instead, remember that as you weed and mulch the garden, you are slowly moving toward better soil and less work!
It’ll Be Worth the Effort!
Learning how to mulch the garden with grass clippings is easy! However, if you usually pop your seeds into the ground without any prep, know that this method will require more time than you are accustomed to. Be prepared for it!
Though it may seem daunting in the beginning, mulching puts the cart behind the horse! Long term, it will prove itself, offering you more freedom over the course of the summer. We could all use a bit of that!