The Benefits of Mulching
Mulching helps the soil to retain moisture - something very important for the sustenance of fresh spring growth. Mulching in the spring can help plants cope with drought during the summer.
Mulching suppresses weeds.
- Mulch adds nutrients to the soil.
- Mulch reduces soil erosion from the rain and stops mud from splashing onto plants/structures during heavy rain.
- Mulch helps the soil to retain moisture.
It is also said that mulching around plants can:
regulate soil PH.
- Suppress soil and root borne diseases.
- Creates a habitat for beneficial insects that eat problem insects.
- Encourages soil micro-biological life and improves soil aeration.
When to Apply Mulch
Mulching is ideally done after planting and before plants awake from their winter dormancy to be most effective. However, it would be better to do it late than not at all.
How to Mulch
Applying the mulch correctly is important. Thoroughly
soak the soil, then apply the mulch on the moist soil.
The mulch should be between 5 and 10cm thick, and then renewed to this depth on an annual basis as it will rot down in time.
The mulch should not be piled against the trunk but as near as possible to it.
Mulching around trees should extend from the trunk to between 0.5 and 3 metres (depending on the size of the tree) or possibly to the edge of the drip line of the leaves.