Forest Mulch with forkMulching is one of the easier tasks in the garden. Choosing the right mulch for your garden is essential and often it comes down to affordability and your ability to apply it. Regardless of which you choose, keeping your mulching up is imperative to the health of your plants and to reduce weed infestations.
With many products on the market the important things to remember is good coverage & reducing high pH. contact with the soil which Pine products cause.  The high pH exchange can be detrimental to your plants health over time and should be avoided by using Hardwood Mulch or Forest Mulch (Tree Loppers Mulch) that doesn’t contact pine tree material. More about this later.

Sugar Cane Mulch

makes for a cost effective, easy to manage option for your garden beds but will need re applying regularly. Organic products are available through Rocky Point Mulching and these are best for edible or productive garden bed areas.  Remember that Sugar Cane Mulch is light by nature so not a great product to use in a windy area, as it can be very messy.

Mulches & Woodchip

will need to be moved in a wheel barrow making the job a little more difficult but adds great value to the soil when nutrients are released as it breaks down.  Mulch also provides rotting organic matter for worms & other organisms to feed on.  Worm activity in the soil is very important to the health of your soil and therefore to your plants, so a decomposing mulch is an important component for your garden.  However mulches, as they rot, will provide a medium for weed growth, so over time you will need to control them and the best way to do that is by adding a layer of pine bark. 

Pine Bark or Chip

applied to the top of your mulch will provide a great buffer to the weeds. Its like adding a blanket, so while the mulch is decomposing providing all the benefits that it brings, this layer acts to stop weed germination.  Given its acidic in pH., pine bark takes a lot longer to break down making it a cost effective product.
This approach ensures that your time is well spent and that you will not have to do this job again for many years (depending on the weather).  So if your budget allows, apply a 7cm thick layer of mulch first then a layer of large grade pine bark over the top just to get good coverage. The mulch will settle to around 5cm allowing good water penetration.  When it comes time to mulch again, just rake back the pine bark, add the new mulch and then rake the pine bark back over the top.
The best time to mulch is after we have had some good soaking rain.  It’s then that mulching will ensure that the moisture is retained in the soil & not lost to evaporation.  If the opportunity doesn’t arrive through Autumn then getting this very important job done before the heat of Summer will ensure you have the Summer days to enjoy your garden doing other things.

 

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