Mulching raised beds

Reinvigorated by Ruth Stout’s ‘No Work Garden Book’, I’m back to mulching all the raised beds.

Old wheelbarrow full of rotting hay in a field
The hay from the Ornamental Forest Garden could have been gathered sooner but it’s good enough for mulch

Someone on @GdnBloggers recommended Ruth Stout’s No Work Garden Book, and it has been a true delight, full of little mulching nuggets of practical wisdom. I picked the book up for about £3.20 incl. postage from World of Books but YMMV, as it’s currently selling for £202.58. Pick up an affordable copy when you can.

The essence of the book, an ironically ground-breaking no-dig classic, is mulch everything, with whatever you have to hand. She often uses a hay mulch, which is something Charles Dowding advises against because it can encourage slugs in a damp, UK climate. But as it’s the only mulching material I have at the moment, it will do for now.

Six raised beds mulched with old hay

Raised beds mulched! It’ll be a slugfest but it will do for now

To be honest, there’s only certain plants that need protection from slugs, mostly young beans and squashes & courgettes. I’ll mulch these with garden compost when the plants are young, then switch to a hay mulch from the Makeshift Meadow.

Black and white photo of grass meadow

The Makeshift Meadow in the original forest garden, source of hay for mulching in the summer

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