Mother Nature abhors a vacuum. She will cover bare soil with weeds if we don’t cover it with something ourselves. Organic mulch is the mainstay of a healthy garden. At the very least, it suppresses weeds, regulates soil temperature (in both summer and winter) and helps retain soil moisture. However, the most important thing that it does is feed the soil microbes, making a healthier environment for roots.

If you want to make your garden season a little easier, now’s the time to get ahead of the game. By now, your plants should be in the ground. If you planted seeds, they should have their little heads poking through and all seems right with the world. But, we know that right around the corner are 95-degree days, insects to torment us, and weeds that will try to out-compete our vegetables and flowers for sunlight, nutrients and precious water. Short of moving to the coast, there’s not much we can do about the temperature and insects that are a fact of garden life.