Gone are the days when people used artificial fertilizers to boost the nutrient levels in the soil. Instead, you can use a layer of organic or inorganic materials that serve a wide variety of gardening requirements – mulch. From pine bark, grass clippings, hay to wooden chips, and fallen leaves, you can make mulch from literally out of anything.
Here are the benefits of adding mulch to your garden and how effectively you can reap from its goodness.
Retains Soil Moisture
When it comes to storing moisture in the soil, mulch serves as the best among other fertilizers. Among different varieties of mulch, many experts recommend black mulch for its amazing water restoring qualities. If you are growing vegetables and plants in the garden with high water requirements, black mulch might do the trick.
It’s an incredible asset, especially in the summers, when the soil gradually runs dry after a few hours under the sun. And if you live at a location with limited access to water, black mulch can make all the difference in how you keep your plants hydrated in hot summers.
Improves Soil Fertility
It’s easier for a farmer who has cattle, as he can use its manure to fertilize their land. But people with small gardens don’t have access to such organic fertilizers to improve their soil fertility. As a result, they end up buying expensive fertilizers even if that isn’t necessarily worth the plants you are growing. Moreover, excessive application of artificial fertilizers can create an imbalance in the pH of the soil.
Now, what people don’t see is the abundance of organic mulch available all around them. Instead of investing in artificial fertilizers, you can use organic mulch. The grass clippings after mowing sessions and shredded leaves from the trees work wonders in making high-quality mulch. The best feature of mulch is it takes time for decomposition and gradually provides all the essential nutrients to the soil.
Reduces Winter Burn
Often people think winter burn is only limited to evergreen plants and trees. Though it’s true, it can also happen with your garden plants. It’s a situation that arises due to three factors: inadequate soil moisture, freezing temperatures, and harsh cold-winds. This increases the rate of transpiration from the plant, which gets faster than the roots can absorb from the frozen ground.
Now, it’s quite a serious matter, considering the survival of the plants through the winters. Well, how about you mulch the cold climate garden floors? If you happen to be living in mountain areas, you might be able to get pine trees. Pine bark mulch is one of the efficient ways to reduce winter injury of plants. Just cover the entire ground floor with mulch, and it will insulate the ground from freezing temperatures of the winters.
Mulch Prevents Weed Control
A splash of rain is adequate for the weed growing out of proportion in your garden. Not only it affects the growth of your plants, but it also invites bugs and insects that can ruin your hard work. If you are sick of getting rid of unwanted weed growth, mulching might be the answer to your problem. It controls the growth of weed in the garden as it acts as a barrier and prevents the sunlight. No sunlight, no weed!
However, you will have to cover the maximum space of your garden with mulch.
Helps to Prevent Soil Erosion
As discussed earlier, mulching helps to lock the moisture trapped inside the soil. However, it also works wonders in preventing the washing away of soil from sudden water forces. Soil erosion is a typical situation for someone farming or gardening in the mountains. But mulching offers a cover against the brute force of heavy rains and prevents it from washing away.
Keeps Ticks and Fleas at Bay
Certain types of mulch are used to deter pests from destroying the plants. Mulch made out of cedar bark has natural oils that work efficiently in repelling insects like fleas and ticks. However, you need to ensure that you are using the right mulch as some mulches also attract insects. While mulching in your garden, make sure you don’t pile up the mulch up to the plant’s trunk.
The layer of mulch should neither be too thick or high. As recommended by experts, 2-4 inches of mulch is ideal for garden plants.
Attracts Earthworms to the Garden
Earthworms are essential to promote the nutrient cycle in the soil. As mulching keeps the soil moist, it serves as a haven for worms. It encourages them to inhabit your garden and boost soil fertility.
Mulching offers a diverse range of benefits for the growth of your garden plants. As opposed to conventional use fertilizers to boost soil fertility, mulching can save you many unnecessary expenses. The best feature of different types of mulching approaches is that you can pick from various mulching ingredients from your surroundings.