by Christine Baker

If you ask me, “Are you ready for spring?” my resounding answer will be “Yes!” But if you ask me if my vegetable and flower gardens are ready for spring, I will tell you, “Not yet!” I’m definitely old enough to know the difference between wanting to be ready and actually being ready.

There is quite a difference and the latter requires not just dreaming but preparation and work, hard work.

So, recently, when a few warm days graced my little world, I headed outside with gloves, a small shovel and a bucket. My goal was simply to get rid of the weeds. They are usually prolific this time of the year, mainly because they have been allowed to root and grow during the cold winter months. Although, this year, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my job was not nearly as tedious and arduous as it had been in the past.

See, my husband has taken to laying down an organic mulch in my flower beds and in our vegetable garden year round. Ever the frugal gardener, he has learned to use what we have and what we have is an abundance of leaves in the fall and grass clippings in the spring and summer.

According to the LSU-Ag Center website, mulch serves three very important purposes for gardens.

First, mulch helps control weeds. Organic mulch, which is a mulch that decomposes, can come from leaves, chopped leaves, pine straw, ground pine bark, dry grass clippings and newspaper. Second, mulch conserves moisture in the soil. Ever since, my husband has diligently been covering the vegetable garden with leaves in the winter and grass clippings in the spring and summer, the need to water has often been greatly reduced. Last, mulch helps moderate the soil and reduce soil compaction. I can attest to this as I bent over and cleared four rows of weeds. Most of them were not prolific and came out with only a slight tug. I used my shovel only once.

This past year has taught me that mulch is very important in protecting the soil which in turns helps produce a healthy plant and ultimately, an abundant harvest.

This reminds me of what the good book says, “We reap what we sow.” When we tend to the soil in our garden and also in our heart, the outcome is sure better than when we don’t. A good growing season begins with tending to the soil and a good life begins with watching our heart and what we allow to enter into it and remain, and, ultimately,
come out of our mouth and life’s actions.

Spring is here in the south, so get out and tend to the soil in your garden, and while you’re at it, tend to your heart, too. You won’t regret it!

As always, Good eating! Good living! Good loving! Good sowing!

Au revoir mes amis!

Christine Baker

P.S. I’m a local writer and author (Who Am I? 31 Days to Discovering Your Identity in Christ, found @ the Amazon Bookstore) who loves all things Louisiana, gardening and Jesus, although not necessarily in that order. You can connect with me on Facebook at Christine Vidrine Baker, From One Woman’s Heart to Another on Facebook and Instagram or at

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