Mulching

Garden Mulch is a protective covering placed on top of the soil . It is preferable to use various organic materials for garden mulching, but you can also use plastic film, they are a important tool for the organic gardener.

Applying Mulch is well worth the time and effort it takes as it both conserves moisture in your soil by slowing evaporation and also helps stop weed seed from germinating. It will additionally protect the soil surface from the damaging effects of heavy rain and compressing . Another benefit of using organic mulch is that it will encourage the worm population who will generally help improve and maintain a good soil structure.

A variety of materials can be used for mulching , however the texture is very crucial , they need to be fairly compact but also allow water and air to filter through to the surface of the soil . Home made compost , wood chippings, bark, leaf mould, dried lawn mowing , well rotted manure and straw will all make good garden mulch. They will give you a choice of finishing’s bark mulch and wood mulch giving a more pleasing effect and they will also last longer .

Mulch can be applied up to four inches thick provided it does not completely swamp your plants. It should not be heaped up around the base of any plants because as it rots down it will also rot the plant to. Depending on the type and depth of mulch used it will last from two months to three years and as it breaks up and rots it will improve your soil too.

The best time to apply garden mulch is when the soil is moist and warm . You should never mulch when the soil is dry, very wet or very cold as it will simply remain in that condition, affecting the growing conditions of your plants. The best time to mulch is either after planting or for plants sown in situ when they are a few inches tall . Always water the ground well in advance but do not completely saturate it and remove any existing weeds that may be already growing.

You can also purchase plastic mulches which can be useful in the short term , although best for summer crops, like tomatoes and cucumbers. You can either lay the firm over the area you intend to plant and cut cross slits and plant in between, or plant first and then gardually roll the film over, making slits and pulling the plants through. Anchor the edges of the film with a covering of soil to secure . Plants can be watered, when required, through the gap between the stem ot the plant and the foil .

Black films are better at preventing weeds from geminating , clear or transparent and white films will help warm up the soil , great for early planting and white films will also reflect light up onto your crop .  Which ever mulch you choose it will aid you to make your organic garden that much more rewarding.

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