You’ve been mulching all during gardening season, both to preserve moisture and inhibit weeds. But now is the time to start collecting as much garden mulch as you can. Winter is just around the corner and your trees and shrubs will appreciate a good mulching to protect them from freezing. This is especially important where winter temperatures can be especially harsh (I’m thinking of you, Bozeman, Montana). It’s also important not to pile mulch too high — a practice known as over mulching — around your trees and shrubs.
Mulch is also useful in getting an early start on spring vegetables. Seeds sown under a heavy layer of mulch will, even if sprouted, survive the winter with a little luck. When the mulch is pulled away in the spring — even if there is still the threat of frost — frost-tolerant plants will jump at the chance to get a little sunshine. Garlic and onions are traditionally planted in the fall and over-winter under a warm blanket of mulch. (more…)