Why should we mulch?

  • Mulching acts as a seal therefore improving the soil’s moisture retention.
  • It reduces soil temperature so less water is lost due to evaporation
  • Improves the condition of the soil
  • Vital source of food for earthworms
  • Increases the insect life in the garden
  • Slows water that is running past plants
  • It reduces reflectivity. Bare sand or clay soil can develop a very bright reflective surface which bounces the heat and light of the sun back onto plants (white gravel and pebbles)
  • It reduces exposure to wind, which results in less moisture lost through evaporation.
  • It promotes good root growth by retaining moisture in the root zone.
  • It protects the roots of plants
  • It suppresses weed growth by keeping out the light.
  • It controls erosion by softening the impact of falling water and slowing it down before running off. It prevents soil from being washed way from around plants.
  • Organic mulch eventually breaks down and improves the quality and water-holding capacity of the soil near the surface.
  • Organic mulch is less conspicuous, allows water to pass through and will eventually decompose, thus increasing the humus content.
  • Organic mulching includes manure, grass, leaves, moss, straw, seaweed.
  • Spread a layer of mulch at least 4cm deep evenly.
  • Container plants will benefit from mulching
  • Pine needles are good for acid loving plants like azaleas and camellias
  • Soak the ground well before mulching
  • Stones, pebbles, gravel can be used as mulch but they can store heat and should be used cautiously in hot gardens and are most suitable in shady areas.

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