What Is Mulch?

Using mulch in your garden really can save you so much time!

What Is Mulch?

Any material that is spread over the surface of the soil as a covering is classed as mulch.

mulching-in-the-garden

Benefits of Mulch:

  • Saves water by retaining moisture in the summer months.
  • Gives your garden a neat and tidy appearance.
  • Prevents weed growth.
  • Improves soil structure.
  • Protects roots in the winter.
  • Holds in nutrients.
  • Keeps soil cool in hot temperatures.
  • Creates a low maintenance garden.
  • Fights pests.

Two types of Mulch:

1. Biodegradable

The main benefit of using organic materials as well as the above is that this type of mulch will release nutrients into the soil, helping to feed your plants. 

Examples of biodegradable mulch:

    • Straw
    • Bark
    • Wood chippings
    • Grass cuttings
    • Leaves
    • Sawdust
    • Compost
    • Newspaper

mulching-in-the-garden

2. Non- biodegradable

Non-biodegradable mulch will have all the benefits listed above also but it will not provide your plants with extra nutrients. However, black plastic sheeting does warm the soil and radiates heat during the night, this is great for heat-loving plants!

Examples of Non-biodegradable mulch:

    • Pebbles
    • Plastic mulch sheets
    • Gravel
    • Stone chippings
    • Landscape fabrics

non-biodegradable-garden-mulching

Top Tip:

When you are using mulch around plants be sure to keep 1cm diameter mulch free around the base of your plant. This is to stop your plant from rotting when wet mulch touches the plant, and to keep air circulating around the plant base.

How to Mulch:

When using mulch to prevent weed growth you must remember to thoroughly weed the soil before putting the mulch down and put down a thick layer of mulch to stop weeds from breaking through. The mulch needs to be roughly 2-4 inches deep.

If your garden is particularly prone to weeds try using two different types of mulch, one on top of the other, both 2 inches thick. An example is a layer of newspaper and then top it with another mulch of your choice like bark.

Choose your type of mulch based on the main needs of your garden. If you are looking for increased nutrients which leads to healthier plants or if you are looking for a way to combat weeds and keep your garden looking organised. The moister a mulch the more organic materials it will contain and therefore it will decompose faster and release more nutrients into the soil. Drier mulch will not provide so many nutrients but it will last much longer. 

I hope you have found this blog helpful and please remember to check out my other blog posts for more wonderful gardening tips!

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