Organic Gardening 101: Mulching

Organic Gardening 101: Mulching

A mulch is a protective cover placed over and around the soil with an aim to modify the local environment and climate to aid the growth of a plant. When it comes to organic gardening, mulching can be very effective in increasing yields and improving the quality of the produce.

A mulch can be either organic or inorganic. It is placed around your plants so as to change the local growing environment. Thus, it helps in ensuring effective fertilization of the soil. Besides this, mulching can be very useful in protecting your garden in the case of heavy rains or a week infestation. The mulch provides additional support to a growing plant and supplements its natural growth processes.

Aside from these benefits, a mulch also helps in regulating the temperature and moisture of the soil, while improving the aesthetics of a organic garden.

Mulches can drastically decrease the amount of water required for a plant’s strong growth. The mulches help in retaining the water better than plain soil, which in turn helps the plants to grow even stronger because of the increased availability of nutrients and water.

There are two types of mulches that you can employ in your organic garden: organic, and inorganic (synthetic) mulches. Organic mulches include crushed pine needles, lawn clippings, leaves, straw, saw dust, wood chips, compost, etc. Inorganic, or synthetic mulches include rocks, stones, and even plastic that can be spread around the plant to promote growth.

Organic mulches are much better at retaining water and nutrients than inorganic mulches, which do a very effective job of providing support to a growing plant. You will often find that you may have to be more meticulous with your gardening efforts if you use mulches. Because of its nature, most organic mulches will require frequent watering in the initial stages, but over a long period, you will actually end up saving on the time and the effort.

Mulches are also frequently used to improve the texture of the soil and provide visual relief in a garden. Organic mulches like wood chips, saw dust, etc. are often dyed a certain shade to bring about a color contrast in a garden.

Organic mulches are recommended over inorganic mulches because of their better nutrient holding capacity. A mulch of aged compost acts as a great fertilizer and may, in fact, remove the need to fertilize the soil. You can also use multiple mulches in a garden to improve the quality, as well as the visual appeal of the soil.

John has been writing online for over 3 years. His most recent entry was about Gressoney hotel after he visited the Italian ski resort. This blog is maintained at Hotel Gressoney

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