The benefits of mulching

 

The benefits of mulching.

When we think of spring we think about planting, but second on the list should be mulching. The main reason for mulching is to prevent weeds, however there are a host of other benefits.

What is mulch?
Mulch is any kind of material that we put on top of the soil, which nourishes the garden as it breaks down. It is used mainly for weed control. Although it doesn’t get rid of weeds completely, it does smother them and as years pass, weeding is required less frequently. This is only the beginning of why mulch is so important.

Moisture regulation
Mulch will help regulate the soil moisture whether we’ve had days of continuous rain, or dry sunny days. It absorbs the excess water during hard rains and keeps the moisture locked in when it’s dry.

Temperature regulation
Just as it helps with moisture regulation, it does the same for soil temperature, prolonging the growing season and protecting your cool weather plants. If you’re over-wintering, mulch helps protect those plants. IN the summer it reduces the soil temperature by up to 13 degrees.

Reduces erosion and crusting
If you’re having issues with topsoil washing away, mulching ensures that those nutrients and vitamins aren’t washed away. If you’re on clay you’ll know all about crusting. Mulch stops that hard, cracked crust that forms on unprotected soil.

Prevents disease
Fungal spores that go on to cause diseases like early blight and powdery mildew splash onto plants with rainfall. Mulch creates a barrier and feeds the soil. The result… healthier plants!

Grass cuttings for mulch
Certainly, grass clippings can perform a host of duties in the landscape, adding nutrients and keeping your yard waste bin empty. Mulching with grass clippings, either on the lawn or in the garden bed, is a time-honored method which enhances soil, prevents some weeds, and preserves moisture. The benefits of using fresh grass clippings as mulch include cooling the root zone, conserving moisture, and adding back up to 25 percent of the nutrients that growth removes from the soil. Mulching with grass clippings has the added benefit of taking one more step out of an already drudgery filled garden chore.


More information

> Make your own compost
> How often should you mow your lawn?


 

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As bulbs fade and herbaceous borders grow in leaps and bounds, it is now clear that summer is approaching. Sowing and planting out bedding can begin, depending on regional weather variations, and you can take softwood cuttings. It's also time to get back into the lawn mowing regime, as the lawn will be loving the warmer temperatures this month brings.

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