As readers were clucking their tongues over all the mulch on our gardens and fenced areas spread during the last year, I was patiently toiling to add even more. "Your scorn is my energy!"
Un-mulched soil will absorb some rain and let the rest run off into the street. Our front yards are sloped toward the street, so slowing down the drainage helps all the vegetation.
Another factor is evaporation. The back yard is flat and tends to pool up with long, heavy rains. But the sun evaporates water faster than I imagined - with 95 degree days. I filled the wheelbarrow and saw the water disappear rapidly, just from the sun.
But that much rainwater on mulch wakes up all the soil activity, sending it into early spring activity, with fungi growing, bacteria teeming, earthworms digging, beneficial insects preying.
Evidence - one distant neighbor does nothing for his two KnockOut roses. They were perfect this spring and looked like a display for a gardening magazine. He mows and trims his grass away from the walk, but ignores the roses, which are now barely alive after a summer of heavy rains, even now.
Flowering and fruiting plants want a steady supply of moisture and constant pruning or picking. I cut my KnockOut roses by 50% twice already. Now they are at 5 - 6 feet tall again - and blooming a bit too fast, thanks to the heat. They add a lot of color to the yard when blooming but that does require pruning and cutting off spent flowers.
|Borage - aka Bee Bread - flower.|
|I grow Borage amid the roses and along one fence.|