Best Mulch for Raised Bed Vegetable Garden

best mulch for raised bed vegetable garden

So you’ve spent time and money getting that raised bed vegetable garden.

You’re now looking to get some mulch to protect your plants from moisture loss. Getting the right mulch for your garden is as important as getting the raised bed garden itself.

You may ask why.

It’s because some mulches come with weed seeds. One of the reasons why you opted for a raised bed garden to plant your veggies is probably to prevent weeds.

You don’t want something that will make nonsense of your efforts. You definitely want something that would complement your efforts. You also don’t want something that will affect your veggies badly, leaving you unhappy at the end of the day.

This article exposes some of the best products you can use for your garden. It also includes the pros and cons of each product so you can objectively decide which one you want to buy.

How to Mulch a Vegetable Garden

Mulching a vegetable garden requires skills and an understanding of how each mulch type works. Using the wrong mulch can do a lot more harm than good to your vegetable garden.

Spreading your mulch randomly across your vegetable garden is not advisable. You must be careful not to place the mulch too close to the stems of the plants as it could cause fungus and rot. A distance of 26 millimeters is recommended.

Note that wood chips or leaf mulch will reduce the amount of nitrogen in the soil after a while. In such cases, add a little nitrogen fertilizer underneath it to counter the deficit.

Best Mulch for Raised Bed Vegetable Garden

Each of these products is a good choice for your raised bed vegetable garden. Their pros far outweigh their cons. You’ll have little or no problem applying them to your garden.

1) FibreDust CoCoa Mulch

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This is a unique type of mulch. It is made from the outer covering of coconut. The processing involves the shredding, washing, sorting, and grading of the coconut husks, after which they are dried, measured and packed for use. FibreDust CoCoa Mulch comes in a pack weighing eleven pounds. It requires hydrations with about 12 liters of water after which you can spread evenly on your raised bed vegetable garden.

Pros

  • It has the advantage of being used in slopped places as the mulch will not float
  • It does the incredible job of retaining water while also permitting good drainage
  • It is fairly durable and can stay in your raised bed vegetable garden for as long as 3 years
  • It is a biodegradable product

Cons

  • If you’ve made a wide garden area, it won’t cover much. You might have to place more than one order

Related: Best Mulch for Perennials

2) EZ Straw

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This is a mulch made from the dried stalks of cereal plants. It can serve a variety of purposes on your farm. Apart from mulching your vegetable garden, it can be used for making beds for your pets.

EZ Straw is unlike normal straws that could occupy almost all the available soil space in your vegetable garden. When spread in your garden, it allows air and water to penetrate easily while at the same time fending off harmful weeds. It also comes with a special bag that allows you to keep it out in the sun until you’re ready to use it.

Pros

  • It is safe and easy to use
  • Also allows for easy storage
  • Could be used for farm pets

Cons

  • It comes in really tiny pieces. This shouldn’t be a problem if you handle it carefully
  • It’s quite dusty. This might pose a risk for asthmatic patients

3) ECOgardener

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A mat that fights weed while preventing moisture loss is not something popular among traditional gardeners but it is worth the try. The ECOgardener is a landscape fabric designed to ease gardening, protect your plants, and retain the value of your garden’s soil.  It measures 600 x 36 x 0.1 inches and weighs a modest 5.3 pounds. The mulch is a great eco-friendly alternative for your raised bed vegetable garden.

Pros

  • This fabric mulch is easy and convenient to use
  • Professional design
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Great for those who want to protect their garden without making their hands too dirty
  • Saves cost as it lasts for up to 5 years

Cons

  • Could prevent air and water going to your plant roots after sometime
  • There is the possibility of some aggressive weeds growing through it. However, you can take care of this problem by adding some organic mulch underneath as a supplement

4) Dewitt Sunbelt Ground Cover

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This fabric mulch is made of entwined polypropylene ribbons. It is specially treated with a hydrophilic material that serves the purpose of protecting it from going bad under the harsh invasion of UV rays. It protects your delicate veggies from weeds while at the same time give your garden a professional stylish look. If you’re looking for a nice alternative to traditional mulch, then you should consider this.

Pros

  • Does a remarkable job of controlling weeds and protecting your raised bed garden from losing moisture
  • Convenient to use and install
  • It also has a durability period of 5 years

Cons

  • Could block air from getting to the roots of your veggies after a while
  • The fabric is very tough. Getting water through it might not be easy. In case you want to carry out some irrigation on your garden, you’d have to take it off and put it back after you are done

5) EZ Straw Seeding Mulch With Tack

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Unlike your normal straw mulch, this straw comes with a bonding agent – some sort of glue – that keeps the straw closely knit as one. One major problem with the normal straw mulch is that because of the way the straw is loosely gathered together, air and water would always seep into the crops beneath. This might be good for some veggies but would spell bad news for others. This particular product aims to solve this problem.

Pros

  • It offers solid protection for your seeds against wind and heavy rainfall and is convenient to apply
  • Protects your plants against harmful weeds
  • It’s a biodegradable product. This means that you don’t have to bother yourself taking it out when you want to add fresh mulch

Cons

  • A bag, when ordered, may not contain enough to cover every inch of your garden. You might just have to buy more

6) HOOPLE Premium Pro Garden Weed Barrier

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This is a piece of non-toxic professional landscape fabric. Another excellent way to keep your plants thriving without the menace of angry weeds. Hoople Garden Weed barrier comes in a rolled-up easily installable form and measures 32 inches by 180 feet. It is also made to withstand UV rays and lasts for no less than 5 years. If you do not feel comfortable with organic mulch, this is a great option to go for. It is light and easy to install and remove when necessary.

Pros

  • Suitable for all kinds of plants
  • Convenient to use
  • Chemical-free; makes it safe for use on all veggies
  • Highly durable

Cons

  • Not suitable for all types of plants as the fabric may limit the amount of air passing through it after sometime
  • Could see the penetration of some aggressive weeds
  • Not as thick as you might expect. Yet, its lightness makes it relatively easy to carry about and install

Related: Top 10 Wholesale Mulch Suppliers

7) Dewitt Weed Barrier Fabric

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This one measures 4 feet by 50 feet. It has high carbon black properties, which is bad news for stubborn weeds. It is treated with a hydrophilic material that protects it from the harsh effects of UV rays and slows down the rate of degradation. It also controls the penetration of light through it. This is important as light is a necessary factor for weed growth. Additionally, it is also neat and safe for your vegetable garden.

Pros

  • It is adaptable for all garden layouts
  • Can be cut and installed quite easily
  • The durability of this material is another impressive feature. It can be used for at least 5 years

Cons

  • It’s very thick and heavy. You might need some help moving the material and installing it

8) PlantBest Mega Mulch

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This is an organic type of mulch that does a pretty good job of stemming the growth of weeds, protecting your soil from moisture loss and erosion, and adding beauty to your vegetable bed garden. With it, you don’t need to water your garden all the time or resort to the use of chemicals to keep the weeds away. It is convenient, environmentally friendly, and comes in a pack weighing 8.8 pounds.

Pros

  • Sturdy and long-lasting
  • Durability period is 2 years
  • It adds nutrients to the soil

Cons

  • The pack may not be enough to lace your entire garden. You may need to order one more
  • You would need to remove and replace it occasionally
  • It also requires a little work from you as you need to add some water and crush a bit

9)  Scotts

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This is a landscape fabric that excellently aids your gardening needs. It keeps the weeds away, protects against soil erosion, and offers long-lasting protection for your vegetable garden. It measures 36 x 5 x 5 inches and weighs 4.7 pounds.

Pros

  • Very neat and easy to install

Cons

  • It could be difficult to do some irrigation with this product in your bed garden. You may have to remove it for a short while

10) National Cocoa Shell

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This product is made from the outer part of the cocoa bean. It comes in a bag measuring 34 x 23 x 6 inches and weighing 18 pounds. Compared with other products, this looks sufficient for mulching your garden, especially considering how it would increase when mixed with water. It also has that brownish color that will enrich the aesthetics of your garden.

Pros

  • It has the ability to retain moisture in your garden’s soil and keep it pretty
  • It is immune to bleaching and would last for a long time

Cons

  • Not suitable for an area that is not well exposed to the sun. You’ll need to ensure that your vegetable bed is placed directly under the sun.

Related: Pros and Cons of Gorilla Hair Mulch

What to Consider Before Choosing a Mulch

Your choice of mulch to use for your vegetable garden should depend on the following.

1 The type of vegetable grown on the garden

A fabric mulch is better suited for veggies like tomatoes and pepper that thrive in a warm climate. Whereas, crops like broccoli won’t fare well under the heat of a fabric mulch. It’s better to use the straw mulch to ensure that air circulates and the atmosphere around the crops is cool.

2 The weather and climate

If your vegetable garden is located in a place that is usually hot, – the tropics, for example – you have to be extra careful with the use of fabric mulch. You don’t want your veggies to stress out and die. On the other hand, a vegetable garden in a cold climate requires the type of mulch that would provide some heat. In that case, use a barrier fabric or ground cover.  Straw mulch would allow a lot of air into your crops and the leaves pale yellow.

3 The type of soil

You must also consider the soil type. If your soil is quite moist and weighty, go for a mulch type that doesn’t retain too much water. Watery soil is not suitable for most veggies. Conversely, if the soil in your garden doesn’t retain much water, go for a mulch that will increase its moisture retention ability.

Wrapping Up

Getting a good mulch will save you a lot of stress. Once installed, you won’t need to buy chemicals to spray your garden against weed. These chemicals are harmful and would do more harm than good. But with a good mulch, you can fight weeds, enrich your garden, and watch it flourish with delight.

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Best Mulch for Raised Bed Vegetable Garden

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