Chemical And Dye Free Mulch That Does Not Have Seeds

Question From: e. anderson - MICHIGAN
Q: Hi, Nancy .... I would like to mulch a section of my vegetable garden in order to keep ahead of difficult weeding .. e.g., around the potatoes and the onions ... grass clippings are not available to me. I worry that the commercial shredded mulches contain chemicals or dyes that I do not want to have end up in the soil. Other years I have tried using straw that I can get at the Dexter Mill, but then I get lots of little oats or rye plants ! What else can I safely use? Thanks! .... loved your Freep article today on tomatoes! Betty Anderson Ann Arbor

A: I prefer tub ground composted yard waste which is make up of wood chips and leaves. I used to get it from Owen Tree Service by the truck load(800) 724-6680. Pine bark by the bag is another option, A layer of newspaper l4 sheets thick laid on the surface of the soil and covered with a couple of inches wood chips will do the job. Landscape paper is available at garden centers if iyou don't have newspapers. Dampening it before laying should make it easier to work with. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy