A gardener adding mulch to a tomato plant
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The Big Mistake Everyone Makes When Using Straw Mulch In The Garden
While straw mulch offers numerous benefits for a garden, such as reducing weed growth and retaining moisture, laying it down prematurely can be counterproductive.
Applying straw mulch right after planting vegetable seeds can inadvertently kill off your garden, as the mulch can suffocate the seeds before they germinate by blocking the sun.
This impediment prevents the seeds from getting the essential nutrients and energy they require to sprout, similar to how straw mulch inhibits weed seeds from growing.
For best results, it is advisable to wait until the seedlings are around 2-3 inches tall before introducing straw mulch to the garden.
However, there is an exception for beans or peas: A thin layer of straw can deter birds from feasting on them, but care should be taken to ensure sunlight still reaches the crops.