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Mali-Do: Mulching your Malibu garden

Chris Bashaw, Assistant Editor
2:01 pm PDT July 24, 2014

According to the Invisible Gardener, Andy Lopez, mulching a garden in Malibu is not only an efficient way to ensure your plants are getting the nutrients they need, but also serves as a highly functional water conservation technique as it traps moisture and can reduce the amount of water used weekly.

In this Mali-Do, Lopez will illustrate in a series of photos how to properly mulch your garden for the health of your plants, and to do your part to help offset California’s statewide drought.

Step One: Turn Your Soil

- All great gardens start with a simple turning of the soil to mix up and refresh nutrients located in the area. Andy Lopez suggests residents turn their soil with rock dust and compost to maximize the amount of useful nutrients found in the soil before planting. If you're looking to mulch an existing garden and can't turn your soil, Lopez suggests working around existing plants by applying rock dust and compost in a thin layer.

Step Two: Place the Mulch

Which type of mulch you choose to use is up to you, but be sure to place evenly sized piles spaced evenly apart throughout your garden.

Step Three: Spread the Mulch

Don't be bashful about using your hands. As Andy Lopez is shown doing, gently sweep the mulch throughout your garden, working around any exisiting plants that may already be planted.

Step Four: Measure the Mulch

As you spread the mulch throughout your garden, make sure the layer is approximately one or two inches thick for maximum efficiency.

Step Five: Plant a New Plant (optional)

If you plan on adding a new plant or two to your garden at the time of mulching, dig right through the layer you just placed and plant your plant – just be sure to keep the one or two inches of mulch consistent near the new plant.

Step Six: Repeat Seasonally

Andy Lopez suggests residents re-mulch their gardens three to four times a year, but doing so seasonally is the best option. Throughouht the year, Lopez suggests that residents only water their gardens when they can feel the mulch becoming very dry.