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  1. Generally, mulch can be applied at any time of year. Always mulch new plantings right after you plant them. Established plants should be mulched in early to late spring when plants are beginning to grow but before weed seeds start to germinate. Mulching in late spring or summer after the soil has warmed is best for vegetable gardens. If you live where winters are cold, a mulch applied in fall will help protect plant roots during seasonal freeze-thaw cycles.

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