We think that most avid gardeners would agree with us on this one important point – using a mulch is SO good for your plants and one of the best ways to help retain moisture in the soil. Most mulchers will add a thick layer of mulch at the start of autumn and/or spring, before planting, but you can still apply a mulch now and your plants will benefit enormously.
What is mulching?
Essentially, mulching is simply covering the surface of the soil. At Rocket Gardens when we talk about mulching, we talk about laying a fairly substantial layer (at least 3-4cm) of compost, leaf mould or other organic matter on top of the soil surface.
The key reasons to use a mulch 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 enhances soil structure over time.
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. In an ideal world, it would be around 5-10cm thick.
What can I use as a mulch?
- Fresh compost (ideally homemade)
- Leaf mould
- ‘Stretch’ (expensive, but effective)
- Straw (but beware if you have slugs this will likely exacerbate the problem)
- Wood chip (again, this can encourage slugs)