Mulching is one of the oldest tricks in the books when you want to look out for your soil. Essentially, this method of caring for the soil involves the application of a protective layer to the surface. Mulching enables you to conserve the moisture in the soil, combat the growth of weeds, and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the area and fertility of the soil. Today, the market has many mulching alternatives that you can apply to your garden. Take a look at these four popular ones:
Mulches come in two forms, permanent and temporary. Organic mulches are temporary. As the name suggests, organic mulches are made from biodegradable material and even live plants in some cases. They come in many forms as discussed here:
- Grass clippings-grass clippings are a good mulching alternative. They are cheap and readily available from any mowed lawn. After gathering them, spread the clippings over the whole area in your garden while leaving some room around plants. This is because the clippings can damage and infect plants when they start to rot. Additionally, it is imperative to mix them with compost or leaves to keep the clippings from matting down when they decay.
- Leaves-deciduous trees shed their leaves seasonally. A good way of using these leaves is to apply them as mulch in your garden. Decaying leaves form a good cover on your soil while still allowing air and water to seep through and find its way to the plants' roots.
Polymer mulches are made from specially fabricated plastics called polyethylene polymers. The most common ones are polyethylene and polypropylene mulches. More specifically, polypropylene is ideal for perennial plants that have a life cycle of more than one year. On the other hand, polyethylene does well when you are looking to cut out weeds from your garden. Overall, both types of polymer mulches are effective at preventing erosion and conserving the right amounts of moisture in the soil. They absorb and retain heat from the sun, warming the soil and speeding up the growth of plants in the garden.
You can also go for coloured mulches when landscaping your garden. Most of these mulches are made from bark and wood chips capable of absorbing and retaining dyes for long periods. The essence of colouring is to improve the mulch's ability of absorbing and retaining warmth, enhancing the growth of plants. To add on that, colouring also enhances the aesthetic appeal of the mulch to suit the conditions in your home.