When it comes to looking after your garden, mulch offers amazing benefits. Knowing how to mulch and how it can improve the look and health of your garden can truly make all the difference to your space. Read on for our helpful tips.
What are the benefits of mulching?
Mulching has numerous benefits and advantages, including:
- Weed control: Mulch stops sunlight from reaching weeds, preventing them from growing and becoming unruly.
- Moisture retention: As mulch covers the soil and prevents water evaporation, it’ll ensure moisture is retained.
- Anti-erosion: Mulch prevents rainwater from washing your soil away. A layer of mulch will provide a protective barrier for your soil, decreasing the impact rainwater has on the ground when it falls.
How can I mulch my garden?
When mulching, there are a few things you’ll need to do to ensure a great outcome.
1. Prepare the area
Before mulching, add compost and fertiliser to flower beds as needed and water the garden well. This ensures soil won’t be too dry, which can cause water to run straight off. You may also need to mow your lawn if you’re mulching grass. If you’re mulching a garden bed, or around a tree, we also recommend you edge these areas to make the mulch look neater and to ensure it stays in place.
2. Choose your mulch
There are many different varieties to choose from. Organic mulch is a great solution, and each option will carry its own pros and cons. You’ll need to consider appearance, smell, price and durability, among other factors. A popular, inexpensive option is shredded bark or wood. It’s easy to apply but doesn’t carry the most nutrients for your soil.
Some people choose to use garden waste. Compost has great nutritional benefits but won’t do much to prevent weeds. We also recommend you don’t use your home compost for mulch unless you’re certain it’s been heated enough to kill weed seeds – otherwise, you’ll add to the weed numbers rather than reduce them.
3. Get your tools
To lay your mulch, you’ll need gloves, a wheelbarrow, and a shovel, rake and/or hoe.
4. Spread the mulch
If you’re laying mulch in a garden bed, you may want to first place a weed mat down, which helps prevent the growth of unwanted weeds. Lay this directly on the soil and cut out holes to accommodate your plants before pulling them through.
Once you lay your mat, apply the mulch, ensuring you completely cover the ground. Generally, the thicker your mulch, the harder it is for weeds to come through and the longer it takes to compost.
When applying mulch around your plants, make sure you cover the base of the stem to protect it from disease.