All the plant starters were purchased from a local organic farm and transplanted on April 6, 2019. Each bed is covered in mulch to help keep the soil moist and prevent the spread of diseases. Joe Lamp’l from www.growingagreenerworld.com says the mulch can help prevent soil from splashing onto the leaves of the plants when it rains and low-hanging leaves won’t sit in the soil. I chose a cedar blend because it’s supposed to “repel insects.” Let’s hope it only repels the bad bugs.
Last summer, there were only 3 garden beds and I didn’t have the landscape rocks along the perimeter like I do now. The grass grew tall right next to the beds. Slugs, snails, ants, aphids, squash bugs, caterpillars, and horn worms feasted on my labors. As a new gardener, I had no tools in my tool belt for controlling pests organically and our local retailers don’t offer a lot of organic solutions. I responded as quickly as I could, but sometimes that meant waiting 2 days for deliverance. What is life without Amazon Prime? I don’t want to know. Still, a lot of damage can happen in 2 days so this year, I’m going to have an arsenal of organic pest control solutions ready.
The landscape rocks along the perimeter of the beds helped establish a ground barrier around the plants. Of course, flying pests still get a free pass. Grrrr. I have other defenses for those. We installed the rocks at the end of summer before planting the fall garden. I did notice a significant decline in pests but that’s typical when transitioning from summer to fall simply because of the weather. I’ll be sure to take note this summer. One thing I have noticed already is that being in the garden is much more comfortable even when handsome hubby hasn’t mowed the grass. Bonus!