Mulch seems like a humble part of gardening, but do not be fooled by its simple appearance, it is an integral part of gardening. Ever been to a forest? Look around and you will find the ground covered with natural mulch, like leaves and other debris. That is the secret to such fabulous growth in the forest.
But many properties (yours too?) may not have the luck of finding so much natural mulch. For that, you need to add it and maintain the property with garden design and landscaping services from reputed agencies. They will help replicate a similar environment to create a beautiful landscape and garden.
WHY IS MULCH AN INTEGRAL PART OF YOUR GARDENING ROUTINE?
Most people have no idea, but mulch is one of the most important things that you will need for maintaining an amazing organic garden.
The reason that mulch forms an integral part of gardening is because, mulch:
- Reduces Water Loss
- Adds Nutrients to the Soil
- Suppresses the Growth of Weeds
- Reduces Soil Compaction
- Protects Soil Against Erosion
- Keeps Soil Cool or Warm, as per the requirement (depending on the Mulch)
Another important point that most forget is to mulch the plant pots along with the soil in the garden.
How you choose the mulch depends on four things:
- What do you plan on achieving?
- What type of plant you are growing?
- What type of soil is on your property?
- What kind of area do you plan on covering?
Your mulch planning does not stop here. You will also need to maintain a few dos and don’ts of mulching.
WHAT ARE THE DOS & DON’TS OF MULCHING?
- Mulch too Close to the Tree Trunk: Many make the mistake of placing the mulch too close to the tree trunks. This can be disastrous for your plants, because the subsequent humidity around the bark can lead to a fungal disease known as collar rot. This can destroy your trees and plants from within and ruin the look of your garden.
- Moisture Content of the Soil: Mulch just adds nutrients, not water. So, you need to ensure that the soil is moist enough before mulching. Each kind of mulch has a different texture thus, for maintaining future watering needs, you will need to maintain a certain thickness of mulch on the ground. If you spread the mulch in a layer that is too thick, water will not be able to penetrate and reach the soil. Check out some more tips on how to save water in your garden.
Here is a guide to mulching thickness, according to the type of mulch:
- Hay & Straw Mulch: 15 to 30 cm thick (6 to 12 inches)
- Medium-Sized Woodchip or Bark: Up to 15 cm thickness (6 inches)
- Finer Mulch, like Sugarcane: Not more than 3 to 5 cm (1/2 to 1 inch)
Just remember, that water needs to reach the soil even after mulching, so ensure the thickness of the mulch as well as the moistening step of the soil.
- Nitrogen Content of the Soil: Some kinds of mulch, like the straw, hay and woody mulch use up the nitrogen of the soil as they breakdown. It is imperative for you to return the mulch back to the soil with the help of products like fish emulsion, manures, nettle or even comfrey tea.
- Acidity of the Soil: Certain types of mulch like bark, woodchip and even leaves enhance the acidity of the soil over-time. Keep checking the soil pH from time to time and if required add some lime to balance out the soil pH.
Garden maintenance is a process that needs regular attention, so you might need some help. You could always employ the help of reliable landscaping and gardening agencies. Their expertise and experience will help you maintain your garden’s beauty.