There’s a lot to know about the different types of mulches, and many tips and tricks to ensure the best results in your garden.
There are four important reasons to mulch.
- Water conservation. Mulch stops the top of the soil drying out, keeps the soil moist, and can reduce watering by about 60 per cent.
- Mulching also prevents weeds and weed seed germination, which compete with plants for moisture and nutrients.
- Mulching keeps the soil temperature constant, and using an organic mulch means you’re adding extra organic matter to the soil.
- Mulch breaks down and adds organic matter to the soil. This improves soil structure and drainage, and encourages earthworm and soil microbial activity.
The depth of mulch depends on the type of mulch used. For coarse mulches a layer of 100mm is ideal. Although unprocessed straw mulches from the bale can be applied thicker.
Rather than using lawn clippings, leafy prunings and leaf litter as mulch, it’s far better to put it in the compost and let it break down naturally. Although some people like to apply compost as mulch, it’s actually better to use a coarser material.
See examples below: