|I'm using this photo of my baby petting a chick to trick you into reading about mulch.|
Why should you mulch?
To protect the soil from the heat and to keep your soil and plants from drying out. It also adds organic matter to the soil. Mulch also keeps weeds down and stops them from spreading. Adding mulch is really important in Texas!
How do I mulch?
Once your seedlings are established, you can mulch 2 inches or even more. You do not want to mulch right up to the plant though because it makes them more susceptible to pests and diseases. Give the plants a couple of inches of space. For example, you can make a 6 inch ring around the stem.
What kind of mulch should I use? We prefer hardwood mulch. Most hardwood mulch comes from trees that are already being cut down because of development. We do NOT like cypress mulch because they knock down big trees in riverbeds just to make mulch. YIKES! No! We need those trees to clean our rivers. Just say no. Fine shredded cedar and pecan mulch are also decent choices. We have been told pecan mulch deters cats because its so sharp. Pecan mulch can be a little trickier when you are direct seeding because the mulch can collapse back into the hole. You can get mulch at soil yards, nurseries, big box stores... etc. If you find yourself at a big box store, the best choice there is Texas Native Hardwood. But again- remember that you can get a better deal at a soil yard.