Do you want to know everything about What is Mulch? Here are the best Types of Mulch and their Advantages to the plants in your home and garden!
If you have always wondered about – What is Mulch, then you have arrived at the right place! We will give you a detailed insight into the best Types of Mulch and their uses in the garden!
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What is a Mulch?
Mulch is a layer of organic or inorganic matter applied around the plant’s base as a protective covering. Its application protect the roots from extreme cold, heat, and sudden temperature fluctuations.
Mulching prevents water loss from the soil, reduces weeds’ growth in the garden, and promotes the activity of beneficial soil organisms.
Types of Mulch
It consists of decomposable organic materials and adds beneficial nutrients to the soil upon decomposing. Organic Mulch not only upgrades the soil’s productivity but also enhances water retentiveness. It is eco-friendly, too!
1. Grass Clippings
Grass clippings keep the roots moist and cool for an extended duration. They decompose at a fast rate and are best for garden beds.
The sheets of old newspapers keep the roots and soil moist and cool for a prolonged period. You can use them with compost or vermiculture. Together, they will increase water retentiveness and suppress weeds effectively.
3. Shredded Leaves
Shredded leaves are one of the best organic alternatives for plants. They also attract beneficial earthworms to the soil.
4. Garden Compost
Organic compost enhances soil productivity, adds nutrients, suppresses weeds, and retains water. You can include shredded leaves, branches, hay, kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, and manure.
5. Hay and Straw
Straw and hay keep the weeds, pests, and other soil-borne diseases at bay while decomposing slowly in the soil. Also, they work as a host for beneficial and garden-friendly insects.
Other organic options are shredded or chipped bark, well-rotted horse manure, and pine needles.
Inorganic mulch does not decompose or breaks down. It includes layers of gravel or rocks, plastic sheeting, and landscape fabric to name a few.
1. Plastic Mulch
It is frequently used for strawberries, watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, and sweet corn. Plastic is an economical option for large-scale production. However, it prevents rainwater and air from penetrating into the soil.
2. Rock or Gravel Mulch
Rocks and gravels suppress weeds while holding the growing medium in place. They are good for drought-resistant plants as they absorb heat, which can take up the moisture from the plant’s roots.
Right Time to Apply Mulch in India
Mid to late spring is the ideal time for its application. Mulch the plants during March and early April when the plants are undergoing the growth phase.