Pick your product
Choose between organic and inorganic mulch. Organic mulches, like inexpensive pea straw (available by the bale), shredded hardwood, or pine bark (available from fine through to medium grades), will break down and boost your soil structure and quality as they decompose. You can also use your grass clippings or shredded leaves.
Inorganic mulches, like gravel and river pebbles, look great on pot plants and garden paths and are a good option for cactus gardens. Keep in mind these won’t break down, and because the stones hold heat, they will increase the soil’s temperature.
Spread the love
The opportunities for installation are endless. Use it on your flower beds (for both perennials and annuals), in your veggie patch, on your roses and bulbs, and to give your new plants a hearty head start. Use it around your tree trunks, particularly young ones, to create a protective ring against other plants and your lawnmower.
Beware the ‘mulch volcano’ though, where a moist mound of mulch piles against a tree trunk or shrub. This can decay the bark and leave your tree vulnerable to disease.
Less is more when it comes to applying your mulch. Your plants need air to survive, so be wary of suffocating their roots. A shallow 5cm layer will work well to combat weeds and retain moisture. Fine textures, such as shredded hardwood, can go to a maximum depth of 8cm, while more coarse textures, like pine bark nuggets, breathe easier and can be layered up to 11cm.
Mulch twice a year - before winter hits and again in late spring to insulate soil in time for the summer heatwaves. Once you’ve weeded your soil, place the mulch past your plant’s drip line to prevent rot, and water after layering to stop it from absorbing soil moisture. If you’re re-mulching, be sure to remove some of the older mulch first.