Mulch. Second thoughts. Again.
I didn't mulch last year.
I was trying to save some money -- my garden expenditures seemed to have spiraled out of control. And I was worried about the impact of having dumped 3 or 4 yards of mulch on my gardens every year for, like, 15 years.
I lived to regret it. The weeds were a horror, and so was August. Without the moisture retention qualities of mulch, I had trouble keeping my plants going.
This year, I decided to mulch. Four yards of the stuff arrived Friday in my driveway and I finished prepping the beds for it this weekend.
Now I am doubting myself again after reading the garden advice of Debbie Hadley on About.com
She writes that mulch is a barrier to pollinators -- several types of bees that live in the ground. Add a weed barrier such as plastic or newspaper under the mulch and it is impossible for them to burrow.
That doesn't mean you can't mulch at all, she said. Just leave areas of your garden open so the bees at least have a shot of finding a home near the plants you want pollinated.