started weeding, already. Is it too early too mulch my veggies? and if it is when is a good time to mulch? I have peppers, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, peas and other plants that I want to mulch before the weeds try to take over. What is the best mulch for a square foot organic garden? I have 2 3"x3' and 1 4' x 4' raised beds. I have a mulching mower so I cant use grass clippings. Any help would be appreciated.
Straw is fine, as are pine needles, chopped leaves, that sort of thing. Make sure you don't put it too close to the plant stems. Weed first. (I love the hand hoe I got at Johnnys.)
I would not mulch the peppers, or at least not deeply. They like the soil warm. ('Course, I don't know how hot your soil get so maybe you do want to mulch them). Cukes do too, but maybe not as seriously. If the peppers are planted closely, the weed problem will quickly disappear. Mulch your tomatoes, beans, and peas for sure. Deep mulches are best.
Last year we put lanscaping fabric in between the rows of the garden, then covered it with straw, and everything liked it just fine. We have typically used straw because our garden is pretty big. For your size garden though, I would probably put some shredded newspaper in with the straw mulch. I 've planted things in holes with newspaper liningthe hole and the earthworms really love it.
I'd never use a landscape fabric. I'm always pulling up the ten-year-old one the last owners put down for weed suppression. It suppressed weeds for a couple of years, then weeds formed on the mulch and put down roots through the fabric. The soil underneath is nearly useless, as it hasn't been fed, and the worms went away. Hate the stuff. The mulch should suppress weeds, cool roots AND feed your soil.