If you haven’t yet discovered the benefits of mulching, keep reading because mulching your veg plants will make a huge difference, and now at the start of the growing season is a brilliant time to start.
What is a mulch?
A mulch is basically a layer of “stuff” that is placed over the top of soil. This “stuff” could be one of many things – from seaweed to biodegradable ‘plastic’ sheets, but our preference would be for a good quality compost or homemade leaf mould.
There are four key reasons to mulch, which are:
- It helps to keep moisture in the soil so that plants don’t dry out
- It suppresses weeds
- It keeps the soil temperature more consistent, protecting roots from extremes
- It builds up the soil’s nutrients (bio-degradable mulches only)
And there’s a fifth good reason, is that it will reduce the amount of time and energy you need to put into watering and weeding over the summer months so that you can spend your gardening time doing more enjoyable things like tending to your crops, harvesting and planting more!
How to mulch
Mulching is straightforward. Just give the area a quick weed, water it and then put down a layer of mulch around the base of the plants. If using compost, a 3-5cm thick layer is a good minimum level to aim for, but if you can give plants more, like 10cm, then the benefits will be enhanced.