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Mulching With The Garden Grid™

You might also be interested in our video: Using Liquid Fertilizer With Garden Grids™

Mulching: Should You Do It Above or Below Your Garden Grid™?
What Are The Benefits of Mulching A Vegetable Garden?


Mulch Below Your Garden Grid™. Here’s why

Easier Plant Spacing:  Mulching below your Garden Grid™ allows you to still use the squares for plant spacing. So, whether you’re planting new crops or swapping out old ones that are done producing, you’ll be able to use the squares to space properly by having them there visually. Also, this prevents you from accidentally digging into them and damaging them.

Better Watering: Keeping the Garden Grid™ above your mulch lets the water streams reach more of the planting square so your plants don’t go thirsty. It also lets you visually see how much you’re watering.

Less Wind Issue: With The Garden Grid™ on top of your mulch, it helps hold it down and stay in your garden. Straw and hay are really popular mulch types for vegetable gardens, but they’re really lightweight, and strong wind can blow them away. The Garden Grid™ helps prevent that from happening.

Mulch Helps Plant Health. Here’s How

Soil Temp Control: Mulch acts as a soil insulator for hot or cold weather. By insulating your soil, it slows the temperature exchange between the soil and air whether it’s hot or cold outside. It won’t prevent plants from eventually getting too hot or freezing if extreme temperatures persist for long periods of time (days or weeks), but it slows the process and helps mitigate unexpected temperature swings.

Moisture Retention: As a layer on top of your soil, it acts as a barrier to the sun, reducing evaporation loss near the surface of your soil.

Soil Born Disease Prevention: Soil can harbor disease spores, which can splash up on your plants when it rains or if you use overhead irrigation (that’s why we made The Garden Grid™ water at ground level). But by covering the soil with mulch, you can protect your plants from these spores! This prevents the disease cycle and can help your plants produce healthier leaves and fruit!

Bonuses: Less chance of weeds (SFG plant spacing also helps since it’s a more dense planting method). Better soil if you use organic/natural mulches since they’ll eventually break down and mix with your soil, like compost.

Tip: Keep Mulch 1-3 Inches Thick

If it’s too thick it can compress and reduce airflow to soil and even cause rot at the base of plants. Also, when mulch is too thick it may invite little rodents to live in your garden & snack on your harvest.

Why You Wouldn’t Mulch In Your Garden

It isn’t necessary if you keep crops growing throughout the seasons, keep a good plant canopy above the soil to protect it from intense sun (which can drive away worms and microbe activity, making it less ideal for plants), and/or regularly condition the soil with compost. We’ve personally grown plenty of gardens without mulch, but it can save a lot of time, effort, and potential soil problems.

Another reason is that you’re growing in a more controlled environment like a greenhouse. In a greenhouse, there’s no chance of heavy rain splashing your plants or extreme temperatures that your plants need defense from. But again, mulch won’t hurt.

Popular Garden Mulches

Leaves. You can easily collect these from your yard for free and spread them around your garden surface. Chopping/tearing them up into smaller pieces helps create a denser layer for your soil.

Straw. This is what we’re using in the video above. It’s very inexpensive, won’t have any fungus or mold, looks nice, lasts longer than leaves, and in our experience, it’s easier to maintain since it’s a bit heavier and sticks together.

Avoid hay and green/fresh mulch. These typically contain weeds and seeds. Using them risks introducing that to your soil. They’re typically the same price if not more expensive than straw.

Overall, mulching is a great practice to use in a vegetable garden. It has a variety of benefits and should help you grow even better plants. Just be sure to keep your mulch under your Garden Grid™ for the best possible results!


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