Summer Mulching. An even temperature around the roots and a steady supply of moisture
in the soil are all important to growing plants. A mulch, applied in early summer after hot weather begins, tends to maintain these conditions as well as to control harmful weeds.
Mulch materials suitable for summer use are numerous, and the choice will often depend on which is most easily or most economically obtainable. Among kinds commonly used are tobacco stems, peat moss, buckwheat hulls, salt marsh hay, straw, strawy manure, coarse compost, and leaves (preferably Oak or Beech or a mixture of various kinds, although Pine needles form an excellent mulch beneath Pine trees and around really acid soil plants). Sawdust may also be used, in which case an application of a fertilizer containing nitrogen should be made at the same time. Pebbles, gravel or rock chips are employed as mulch materials in rock gardens. Flat stones are sometimes used around individual difficult to grow plants that revel in a cool root run.
Newly planted trees and shrubs benefit from being mulched immediately after planting. This practice conserves soil moisture, promotes root growth and reduces the likelihood of the plants' suffering from lack of moisture during their first summer.