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Are ‘invasive’ herbs a good permanent mulch?

 
pollinator
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I don’t really have the time or resources to keep renewing mulch on my plant beds.

The healthiest looking areas of the beds are where the ‘invasive’ herbs oregano and mint are growing. I’m thinking what if I just let them and other herbs spread as a living carpet,  then let deep-rooted summer vegetables like tomato and zucchini grow with them?

I only need mulch in the scorching summers and spring. Winters here are mild and rainy so my clay soil remains nice and moist for half the year.
 
pioneer
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Cut the mint and oregano back heavily if you want to stop the invasion. Have you looked into companion planting? Some plants grow better with neighboring plants.
 
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I have done that in one bed with my tree collards and a layer of lemon balm. Other beds have free ground in spring but get bushy with other crops like oca as the season goes giving total coverage by fall.

It can work well but one thing I want to mention is slugs and snails. If you have wet mild winters like me the ground herbs can hide them. If you do use the mint and oregano find a slug trap or bait that is safe and effective or some other way to control them if they start to multiply. Otherwise your tomatoes and what not might not make it as well.
 
gardener
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Tim Kivi wrote:I don’t really have the time or resources to keep renewing mulch on my plant beds.

The healthiest looking areas of the beds are where the ‘invasive’ herbs oregano and mint are growing. I’m thinking what if I just let them and other herbs spread as a living carpet,  then let deep-rooted summer vegetables like tomato and zucchini grow with them?

I only need mulch in the scorching summers and spring. Winters here are mild and rainy so my clay soil remains nice and moist for half the year.



I'm planning to do something in my food forest.

I want the mint and some other ground covers to create a good thick living mulch to shade the ground, retain moisture, and maybe even attract beneficial insects  and repel some pests!
 
pollinator
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I was searching for slug help and found this thread so I guess it was meant to be. Dichondra has worked well for me this year. In a separate bed I will be trying spilanthes. It produced a ton of seeds and I bed it shows up next year.
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