Checklist For Mulching

Mulching is a great way to suppress the weeds, conserve water, and prevent soil erosion on your flower and vegetable garden. Use this checklist to mulch your garden and regulate the temperature of your soil.


  • Black and red plastic mulch: Increases soil temperature/ allows you to plant summer crops earlier.
  • Reduces / eliminates soil-borne diseases.
  • Reduces weeds are reduced
  • Increases rate of growth of crops
  • Great for any salad plants such as cucumbers, squash, eggplants, melons, tomatoes, and peppers.
  • Best with a drip irrigation system since water can’t permeate the plastic.
  • Expensive and difficult to remove (not environmentally sustainable).
  • Not so much attractive as natural mulches.

 Wood Chips

  • Looks lovely
  • Lasts a long time
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Good choice for walkways and perennial beds.
  • Do a good job in suppressing weeds
  • Keep mulch at least three inches deep.
  • Great at retaining moisture / in keeping soil temperature stable
  • Effective than plastic at preventing soil-borne diseases.
  • Depletes Nitrogen from the top layer of the soil
  • Needs you to fertilize more often.
  • Not the best choice for vegetables

Pine Needles

  • Lasts longer than wood chips.
  • Great in controlling moisture and deterring pests.
  • Great for acid-loving plants
  • Works for hydrangeas, blueberry bushes, strawberries, and fruit trees
  • Acidic and lowers your garden’s PH over time
  • A bit wispy therefore requires a thick layer to keep weeds suppressed.


  • Easy to find
  • Very inexpensive.
  • Unattractive mulch
  • Best for backyard vegetable garden.
  • Regulates moisture.
  • A thick layer will suppress weeds
  • Quite desirable to rodents, slugs, and snails

Choose any of these mulches and keep your garden in great shape. It is easy fast and reliable.

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