Mulching in the yard

Mulching is great thing for your garden. It helps suppress weeds and, when broken down after being exposed over time to the elements, will help to aid in construction of soil.

To mulch you need a layer of dead organic matter (usually leaves, striped sugarcane, grass clippings etc.) That is placed on top of the ground. Overtime it will break down into soil.

Photo credit: Mark Schonbeck, Virginia Association for Biological Farming

The benefits of mulching are numerous and include:

○ preventing soil cracking during high or low tempertures.

○ prevention of plant diseases spreading through rain splashing on healthy plants.

○ keeping the moisture in the soil or a longer time period.

○ reduction of soil erosion by slowling down the rate water runoff occurs and by preventing rain hitting the exposed soil and making it erode.

○ reduction of global gas emissions by placing mulch on the garden when it would otherwise be thrown out (most effective if you make your own mulch).

○ it looks nice.

It is relatively easy to make your own mulch (and this is different to composting). In short, anything that is plant based can be made into mulch (you dont use veg or fruit as it will become smelly and not slightly). Leaves are the easiest to use from the yard as they are light and dont need to be broken down further. However, its those pesky sticks and tigs that are the big issue. You can buy or hire a machine that will turn these into mulch (known as the original name of a mulcher).

Overall, mulching is not just good for the environment but as your garden.

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