Mulching of gardens in summers plays a great role in the soil and environment. Because mulch and compost may be the only powerful tools that an organic garden must need.
However, sometimes the mulch can be viewed as an aesthetic element. Because a layer of mulch could make your landscape beds look sharp.
What Is Mulch?
Mulch is a layer of materials to cover the exposed soil. Those materials should be natural and biodegradable. For this you can use: wood chips, leaves, straw, grass clippings and pine bark. These are the beneficial mulches because they decompose and provide much more benefits to your soil.
Mulching Of Gardens, Benefits
The benefits of mulch could be deeper than appearance. Let’s discuss some of it.
Mulch Helps Retain Moisture In Soil
It will be interesting to know that mulch can be used to retain moisture on soil. It acts like an insulating barrier against evaporation from heat and wind. With this benefit of mulch, you can establish plants to be more drought tolerant.
Protect Soil Surface From Runoff And Erosion
Mulching acts as buffers to protect soil surface from runoff and erosion. Because mulch makes your soil impermeable to develop protection.
Thus, it buffers the soil from rain, water flow or irrigation to flow over its surface. Also, it protects from the particles and any chemicals or excess fertilizers that can erode your soil.
Mulch Prevents Weed Germination And Growth
Weed Germination could be inevitable in the garden. But, you can prevent it by proper use of mulch in it. A layer of mulch covering the soil, the weeds lurking couldn’t get the light they needed to germinate.
Mulch would ultimately block the seeds which blow in the wind to reach the soil and take root. Moreover, mulch will smother the weeds and make it less likely to become established.
Mulch Adds Nutrients To The Soil
By using mulch, the soil will get necessary nutrients in it. Mulch makes your soil healthy. Because, it provides around 30% organic matter (by volume).
For mulching, compost would be a great source of organic material. It improves soil health feeding the soil food web. Organic matter in mulching can improve soil drainage over time.
How To Apply Mulch?
After knowing about the benefits of mulching, you will likely apply it in your gardens. Let’s discuss the process of application.
- Starting mulch with the proper mulching material you have or you can arrange it, if locally available.
- Try not to spread mulch too thinly. Make a thick layer of mulch freely on the soil. Make it effective for buffering the soil against heat and erosion.
- But, don’t make it too thick. It will cause problems, preventing water from reaching the soil.
- The layer can be 2″ to 4″ thick. This will support your plants with proper maintenance and health.
- Do remember to maintain the mulch in a sufficient way on a regular basis. Regular care for your garden is a must to make it more healthy as well as sustainable.
- However, it is not necessary that you mulch when your plants grow above 4″ height. You can also use mulch on seeded soil. Just sprinkle a little amount of hay, straw or (especially) dry grass clippings.