Mulch too mulch, mulch too young?

By on 23rd January in Garden

For those of us not used to gardening terminology, when you hear people talking about ‘mulching their gardens’ what does it mean? We hope to answer this question below.

Conservatory with Bi-folds 400 x 400

Mulch is used here to suppress the weeds on the garden path into the garden

What does mulching your garden mean?

– Putting a layer of material on to the surface of an area of soil.

Why do we mulch our gardens?

– Mulching helps to stop the earth drying out and being blown away in strong winds; it also helps to keep moisture in the ground during dry spells and reduces the need to water.

What effects does it have on the garden?

– It helps to stop weeds growing.  Stopping the light to the top of the soil reduces the chance of growth and also helps to stop the weeds sprouting through the soil.  Any that do break through the much are easily removed.

 Mulching your garden

 Click on this infographic link which will show you how to mulch  your garden.

What types of mulch are there?

Mulch can come in many forms which can include:-

Decorative mulches – Glass, plastic, shredded tyres, fir cones, wood chip, cork,  shells, stone/slate

Fertilizer mulches – Seaweed, animal manure, straw, paper, coco shells, grass clippings, dried leaves, pine needles, sawdust

 

recycled-glass-mulch

Glass used to create the look of a stream in the garden.  Image from greenideasnow

What effect does mulching have on your garden?

–    Mulching repels garden pests.  Depending on the mulch you use, some pests will not like travelling over it because the surface of the item may be too sharp or drying.  A good example would be slugs and snails don’t like travelling over used coffee granules or oats.

–   A mulch can help to lighten heavy soils.  Digging in mulch helps to aerate a soil, improving its general condition, helping your plants to go and allowing for better water drainage.

How do I mulch the flower beds?

–    Mulching does not only acts as a moisture retardant and cover, but also it can feed and nourish the soil at the same time. Depending on the mulch you use it can enrich the soil stimulating and feeding the plants and aiding their natural growth.

–    Mulch levels should be at minimum depth of not less than 2 inches.

seaweed04

This  raised bed has seaweed on it Image from Eartheasy

When should I mulch the flower beds?

–    Mulch your garden at any time of year if you have created a new flower bed.

–    For existing flower beds mulching is ideally done in the Autumn and late Winter.  It helps to protect young and tender plants and also their roots from the frost.

–   You can leave mulching till early Spring when plants have died back during the Winter and have exposed the gaps between the plants.  Mulching also traps the moisture from the wet weather, helping to stop the beds dry out during the early Summer months.
If you have not tried it before why not give it a go and see what a difference it can make.

Start planning now the type of mulch you would like to use in your garden and see what a difference it can make to the amount of time you spend weeding your garden rather than sitting in your garden!

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