Our most recent article, as published in the Mt. Democrat newspaper
By Sue McDavid
UCCE Master Gardener of El Dorado County
As this article is being written, temperatures are climbing to the high 90's which means gardens are going to dry out rapidly. In addition to planting the correct plants for our climate, knowing your soil type and adjusting irrigation properly, what else can the gardener do to conserve moisture in the hot summer? Mulch the soil! Mulching is one of the most beneficial yet simple practices you can do for your garden: it consists of placing material on the soil surface around your plants. The addition of mulch not only improves soil structure, it also makes a garden look tidy, prevents weed problems, saves moisture, reduces evaporation, slows erosion and water run-off, moderates soil temperature, reduces soil surface compaction and encourages beneficial micro-organisms and earthworms. That's a lot of benefit from just one action.
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