Mulch is any covering that is spread over the soil in the garden to protect fruit trees and plants from the scorching sun rays. They not only help retain the soil’s moisture, keep the weeds away, but also improve the soil’s composition. There are different types of organic mulches with which you can easily cover your flower beds. In this blog we will discuss the types of mulches and how to mulch your garden to attain maximum benefits.
So, let’s begin!
How to Mulch Your Garden?
Organic mulch usually decomposes on its own and has to be eventually replaced, but in all this process it helps the soil improve. The soil becomes more nutrient-dense and increases its organic content.
It is equally important to know if the mulch you are about to spread contains any hidden seeds that will start sprouting once you spread the mulch and water the soil. It is always a good idea to know the origin of your mulch and be sure of it being seedless before laying it over the soil.
Let us first understand the different types of mulches with which you can cover the soil. We will also discuss their various benefits and guide you through a step-by-step process on how to mulch your garden effectively.
Different Types of Mulches
- Tree bark
- Grass clippings
- Shredded newspaper
- Wood shavings
- Shredded leaves
Let us now discuss these in detail.
Mulches made out of tree bark are drier, woody and hardy and therefore shouldn’t be moved much. They have a slower decomposition rate, but form a thick layer for big fruiting trees and can help retain the moisture most effectively.
This means that the mulch made out of tree bark does not mix well with the soil and is best for those plants or garden beds where you are not planning to grow any new plants. You don’t want to dig through the thick layer of the mulch each time to sow a new plant. However, this thick hardy layer is very much beneficial for fruiting trees. You don’t water them daily and this helps retain the moisture in the soil and also suppress unwanted weeds that take up all the nutrition which is meant for the big fruiting tree.
You can also dig a large pit in the garden where you add dried leaves, flowers or any kitchen scraps i.e. fruit rinds or vegetable peels. Don’t add onion and garlic peels into the compost though. You can check out our published post on the topic: How to make your own organic compost at home. Compost can be used to cover flowering beds or any kind of plants.
Since they form a light layer and can easily decompose slowly releasing its nutrients in the soil, compost is one of the best options for smaller flowering or fruiting plants. You don’t find it difficult to dig through the soil and also it provides the necessary nutrients that can strengthen the plants.
Clippings of grass can be helpful in suppressing weeds in those areas of your garden that do not have much plant growth. This is because grass clippings can decompose very fast and with it comes a bad odour. It also restricts the flow of water to the soil. Never use grass clippings on your newly planted vegetable patch. If you had used any chemical pesticide in the lawn, then don’t use grass clippings because it can poison the vegetables you grow or harm the flowers if you cover the soil with it in your flower beds.
If you are still wondering on how to mulch your garden from waste products, then check this easy method of mulching your home garden. All you need is a stack of newspaper shreds which you can shred further and use it to cover the soil.
Shredded newspaper is great at retaining moisture of the soil, especially at the root ends, It forms a light layer but can act as one of the most popular organic mulches in the garden. However, it is important to cover about 8 layers of shredded newspaper mulch, moisten the newspaper, especially on windy days or else the newspaper shreds will be blown away. You can also add a layer of another organic mulch to weigh it down and you won’t need to replace the mulch all growing season.
Have you recently renovated your home or asked your carpenter to craft customized wooden furniture for you? You will have a bag full of wood shavings from it which you can easily use to cover the soil. Wood shavings form an excellent mulch, especially for big fruiting trees where you want a thicker layer to cover the soil.
One of the major drawbacks of having wood shavings as a mulch is that it can steal away the much-needed nitrogen from the soil when decomposing. This way the plants don’t get enough nitrogen for a healthier produce.
This is perhaps a natural mulch for your garden. You don’t have to discard the fallen leaves and flowers from your garden. Sweep them around large trees and overtime it will accumulate to form a layer of organic mulch. When the leaves and flowers decompose your soil will become richer and more nutrient-dense.
You can either use fresh leaves or go for a shredded leaf litter for quicker decomposition. First let the leaves and flowers dry out, then using your lawn mower, shred them into smaller pieces and spread it around your plants and garden beds. The mulch from fallen leaves and flowers look aesthetically pleasing in your garden.
You can also add shredded leaves to your compost pile and it will help balance out the carbon in it or else you will have a nitrogen dense soil.
So, these were some of the best organic mulches for gardens. We have also covered how to make your own organic compost and organic pesticides for your garden. Don’t forget to write to us at email@example.com and we will surely get back to you. If you do not have enough space to keep a full-fledged garden, then try your hand at kitchen gardening which you can easily maintain on your windowsill. Stay tuned to Zameen Blog, the best best lifestyle blog in Pakistan.