If you need a biodegradable mulch mat to reduce weeding chores on your crops, consider the paper-based Weed Guard Plus. This weed-barrier mat comes in rolls 35 or 46 inches wide, and unlike petroleum-based plastic mulches, it will biodegrade over the season. To install it, roll it out, sprinkle it with water, then rake soil up over the edges (or you could cover it with a layer of nutrient-rich grass clippings). Weed Guard is certified for use in organic production by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). Cost is about 70 cents per 10 foot section.
Cheryl Long is the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, and a leading advocate for more sustainable lifestyles. She leads a team of editors which produces high quality content that has resulted in MOTHER EARTH NEWS being rated as one North America’s favorite magazines. Long lives on an 8-acre homestead near Topeka, Kan., powered in part by solar panels, where she manages a large organic garden and a small flock of heritage chickens. Prior to taking the helm at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, she was an editor at Organic Gardening magazine for 10 years.