Don’t Forget to Mulch

Straw mulch at the base of freshly watered Jujube (Li variety) and Almond trees. Honeylocust in the background!
Straw mulch at the base of freshly watered Jujube (Li variety) and Almond trees. Honeylocust in the background!

Keep Those Roots Moist

Like I wrote on Instagram, winter dryness isn’t just about your elbows and hands—roots need to stay moist, too!

There’s a decent chance of rain for tomorrow, but I still watered the newly planted trees this morning. I gave each one about a 20-second pour from the watering can with our stored rain water, and then it hit me—why hadn’t I mulched around all the new trees?!

Fortunately, I had a nice big bale of straw ready and waiting, but I’ll chalk my negligence up to the fever pitch of planting 24 trees and vines last Monday. Regardless, mulching around plants provides a lot of benefits from weed suppression (not a winter problem) to keeping trees warm and roots wet (definitely a winter problem). In my experience, bare root, dormant trees can take a lot of abuse, rearranging, and even delayed planting, but letting the roots dry out is an easy way to kill ’em.

After watering deeply this morning, I placed some straw around all their bases. I’ll add wood chip mulch and more soil as we move into the spring, and eventually sow the base of every tree in clover, interplanting other guild mates as appropriate.

Gardening is Good!
~Ben

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