156-Encore Presentation: Why Mulch Matters in Every Garden: What You Need to Know

| Care, Podcast

If there’s one gardening subject that I mention more than any other, it’s probably mulch. Lots of gardeners still think the primary purpose of mulch is as an aesthetic element – to make garden beds look tidier. That couldn’t be further from the truth. When the right material is used and when it’s applied properly, mulch is one of the single best things you can do for the health of your plants and soil.

Mulch is also a powerful weapon against weeds. If you missed last week’s episode on organic weed management, be sure to check that out. In the meantime, this week seemed to be the perfect time to share an encore presentation of my podcast episode that dives deep into the subject of mulch – for weed management and so much more.


mulch at the GardenFarm

This picture from the GardenFarm shows the hardwood mulch I use in pathways (a huge help for weed control) and the finely-ground wood mulch I sometimes use in my vegetable beds as a backup to my favorite option – semi-composted shredded leaves.


In this episode, I explain the different types of mulch materials, why some are better than others, how to apply it, and all the benefits that come from the right materials and proper application. I also share some common mistakes gardeners (and even landscape professionals) often make when it comes to mulch and where to find some of my favorite materials for free.

Even if you caught this episode when it first aired just about a year ago, I encourage you to join me for this refresher. There are important reminders here that are worth another listen.

If you’re one of the many who are just trying this gardening thing for the first time, this is a great episode to get you off on the right foot, and I encourage you to follow it up with two other fundamental episodes. My podcast on some solid gardening basics and an episode explaining the fascinating world of the soil food web (and how all the life under your soil impacts all the life above the surface).

Be sure to check out the original show notes for this episode, too, for photos and links to lots of additional resources on the subject.

I have a favor to ask. Would you share this episode with a friend who gardens or who is just getting started? I’d love for more plant growers to have a solid understanding of these important principles, so they can be more successful (and get more enjoyment from the garden!). You can be a part of that by sharing this by email or to your social media channel – by clicking the icon at the left-hand side of this page or the “Share This” link on mobile. Thanks! I’ll see you right back here next week!

Links & Resources

Episode 048: The Simple Science Behind Great Gardening, with Lee Reich

Episode 097: Spring Tips for Vegetable Garden Success

Episode 110: Why Mulch Matters in Every Garden: What You Need to Know

Episode 155: Managing Weeds Organically: Rodale Institute’s Latest Research, Prevention and Control

joegardener Online Academy  Three popular online courses on gardening fundamentals; managing pests, diseases & weeds; and seed starting!

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Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs – Podcast episode sponsor and Brand Partner of

About Joe Lamp'l

Joe Lamp’l is the creator and “joe” behind joe gardener®. His lifetime passion and devotion to all things horticulture has led him to a long-time career as one of the country’s most recognized and trusted personalities in organic gardening and sustainability. That is most evident in his role as host and creator of Emmy Award-winning Growing a Greener World®, a national green-living lifestyle series on PBS currently broadcasting in its tenth season. When he’s not working in his large, raised bed vegetable garden, he’s likely planting or digging something up, or spending time with his family on their organic farm just north of Atlanta, GA.

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