No garden will ever be complete without mulch. This is a special ingredient that gardeners use to protect their soil against pests and at the same time help the soil retain moisture to benefit the plants. Also, mulch is a good source of food for the plants because it contains nutrients that they need. What’s more, this ingredient is useful in deterring weeds from growing because it prevents sunlight from penetrating the soil where the weed seeds are.
You can purchase mulch from your local gardening store or you can make one your own. If you are the type of homeowner that often cut trees in the backyard, why not use it to create mulch? Wood chippers can either be bought or rented so all the wood you’ve cut can be transformed into mulch. After the wood chipper spits out the mulch, you can further refine it by removing that bigger sized debris.
Before you do use your homemade mulch, make sure that you cure a fresh pile first. Wood chips tend to absorb the nitrogen from the soil when they decompose which can affect your plant. You can boost the amount of nitrogen in your mulch by adding blood meal or even plant material to your fresh pile. Leave your fresh pile of mulch to cure for six to eight months at least before using.
For large landscapes, coarse mulch should be applied while smaller amounts are suggested for gardens. Mulch should be applied about three to four inches on the soil.
When applying mulch make sure that you don’t apply it near the base of the tree or plant since this can trap the moisture within this area. Too much moisture can cause the roots of the plant to rot and decay which can eventually kill the plant. What’s more, there are some critters who will love to dig and will definitely dig through your mulch especially when winter comes. When they reach the roots of your plant they will be gnawing their way around it which can damage the plant.
Mulching should be done every year. Don’t forget to fluff the mulch before using it because it has a tendency to become compact. Use a pitchfork or garden fork to loosen up the mulch before applying to your landscape or garden.
A responsible gardener will know how much mulch to use on their plants. Creating your own mulch is a good way to recycle other debris in your land.