2024 Garden Resolution - Try Leaf Mulch at Scale - January 2024

Like everyone that I know, I've been a bark mulcher.  For my entire gardening existence.  That means that every year, we get a big load of hardwood mulch (usually 'fines') that is spread out on top of all of our beds to serve as a mulch.  It is the exact same thing that everyone on the block does:  make the beds look 'pretty', provide a bit of weed suppression, retain moisture and make things look uniform.  

But, over time, I've learned that those hardwood bark mulches aren't exactly what I've been aiming for in our garden and this year, I just skipped the application.  Instead, I applied a mix of compost in some areas and biosolids in other areas.  And, in a lot of the garden...I applied nothing.  No new mulch.  The beds have had a couple of years of bark mulch application, so in most spots it isn't like there's nothing on top of the soil, so I figured I could get away with a year off of the mulch.  And, I chose this past year (2023) because I just had learned that leaf mulch was being made available in the marketplace. 

I'm thinking that 2024 is going to be the year of leaf mulch in the suburbs.  I'm going to try to find a source and get 15-or-so yards delivered to use on my beds.  And, I bet that I'll start to see some of my neighbors doing the same.  

I'm certain that I'll make a lot of promises to my own self this gardening season.  The first of which...is now set:  use leaf mulch at scale in the garden beds.  

And, I'm calling it as a trend we'll all see more of in 2024:  leaf mulch in home gardens instead of hardwood bark mulch.


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