From helping your soil to adding nutrients to your plants, an application of mulch can make all the difference to your garden.
But mulch is more than just a nutrient booster for your soil. When done properly, mulching your soil can improve drainage, provide temperature control, help prevent weeds and more!
So, what can a good mulch do for your soil? In this blog, we break down the five major benefits of mulching your Garden. Read on!
What is mulching and why we should do it?
Mulching involves adding organic & or inorganic material to the surface of your soil. There are two main benefits of mulching.
- It will protect the top layer of your soil
- It improves the condition of your soil
Organic mulches break down over time, by doing this they will increase the microbial activity within the soil, strengthening your soil structure along with adding extra organic nutrients directly back into the garden where they’re needed most.
Inorganic mulches don’t contain any nutrients and are generally in the form of decorative pebbles & or rock. This type of mulch provides a protective layer for your soil that won’t be disturbed by harsh winds or light water courses, but be careful as rock can absorb a lot of heat from the summer sun and if not installed correctly they can actually be quite detrimental to your soil..
Mulch can be applied at any time of the year however we recommend you mulch in late Autumn. This will help to protect against any harsh frosts and major temperature changes within the top layer of soil. It is also important to add a fertiliser like AgriBoost when you much, this will help to combat any nitrogen draw down as the mulch breakdown process begins to increase the microbial activity. Take a look at some more surprising benefits of mulch.
#1. It helps to prevent weeds
Weeds can be frustrating even for the most experienced of gardeners and green thumbs alike. When it comes to keeping these pesky little plants at bay, the application of a generous layer of mulch can assist greatly.
One of the main benefits of mulch is its ability to stop weeds from germinating from your soil. Covering your soil in a layer of mulch will block the sun stopping light penetration to the topsoil therefore preventing the germination of “most” pesky weeds.
While a thick layer of mulch will block most weeds from sprouting, make sure you seek the right advice. Too much mulch can have adverse affects if the incorrect product is used and in the reverse, not enough and you may as well save your money.
#2. It helps the earthworms and all their friends thrive.
Earthworms and sub soil insects are great for keeping your soil healthy. As they move through your garden, earthworms & bugs will loosen the soil around your plants. This improves aeration and makes it easy for water and nutrient to spread throughout the soil, creating the best conditions for your plants to absorb all the goodness.
Earthworms and insects love mulch as it controls the temperature of the soil and protects them from harsh winds, sunlight and rain. This gives them the perfect environment to populate and keep your plants healthy and happy!
#3. It controls the temperature of your soil.
Mulch is a great way to control the temperature fluctuation within the topsoil over them sweltering summers and freezing winter months..
Mulch stops sunlight, wind and frost from reaching your soil, allowing it to maintain a more consistent temperature. This reduces the chance of moisture evaporation, temperature fluctuation and frost heaving from occurring while keeping your plants nice and cosy and away from all the elements. In summer, mulch will act as a barrier between the soil and the scorching heat. It also retains extra moisture, keeping your soil cool and moist throughout summer.
#4. It assists in erosion control
When using the right mulch, it can be an extremely effective way to reduce top soil and land erosion. To help prevent erosion from runoff, your mulch must completely cover the exposed area. Using heavier, chunkier or stickier forms of mulch on steep slopes or in windy areas often provides more effective erosion control, since it is less likely to move. and will interlock together
Erosion control blankets such as Jute Mesh and biscuts can also be used on steep slopes with the correct mulch applied directly on top.
#5. It saves water
One of the most convenient things about mulch is its ability to retain moisture. A properly applied layer of mulch will help your soil stay moist for longer, saving you time, energy and water. It also prevents moisture from evaporating on the top layer of your soil, meaning water is more likely to reach the roots of your plants.
By retaining moisture and letting it soak into the deeper layers of your soil, mulch is a great way to cut down on water (and sweat) in scorching Aussie summers. However, it’s important to remember that mulch isn’t a substitute for watering, only the amount of times you have to do it. Watering is still essential for mulched soil, especially in summer but keep in mind the difference in water requirement’s can be upwards of 80-90% more efficient than a bare garden.
What’s the best time of year for mulching soil?
Mulching soil can be done all year round, but we recommend applying in the late Autumn. By mulching at this time you will be providing your garden with a nice cosy winter blanket that will keep your garden temps settled and be underway to breaking down and adding benefit & nutrients before the spring returns. You will also need to add a fertiliser like AgriBoost when applying mulch at this time. This will stop any Nitrogen drawdown as the mulch will draw nitrogen from the soil to start the breakdown process.
For perennials or annuals, mulch your soil after they’ve first been planted or during dormant months before they start sprouting.
Discover the benefits of mulching with Oz Landscape Supplies
At Oz Landscape Supplies, we’re proud to offer an extensive range of mulches for landscapers, civil contractors and home gardeners throughout the Hunter region. From decorative mulches to broad acre applications, we’ve got a mulch for your project.
Call us on 4959 4999 to get a quote on your project today!