Soil Preparation Tips: Mulching

Having the right type of soil is essential to make any gardening project a successful one. If your soil is heavy, light, or sandy, proper mulching techniques can provide various benefits. The best type of mulch is made of organic ingredients such as rotted manure, compost, biodegradable kitchen scraps, leafmould, pieces of rotted tree barks, and other organic materials.

As a soil covering, mulch can help retain moisture and protect plants from extreme temperatures. A properly prepared mulch also helps light soil types to hold in essential nutrients. For clay soils, mulching as a gardening technique helps in breaking down large soil particles so that they doesn’t easily crack.

Mulching also makes your garden soil more manageable and makes soil preparation an easy process. Although a bit of elbow grease is required in order to create and maintain a garden. a well-prepared soil helps you save time and effort. Mulching can also lessen plant problems usually associated with exposure to extreme cold or hot temperatures.

The best time to mulch your garden bed depends on the actual soil type. Clay soils are best prepared during autumn. By digging and mulching the soil during this season, you are actually allowing the forces of nature to work for you — rain and frosts can help break down clay soils that have been dug up. For sandy soils, spring is the best time to prep them up. To start off, simply dig a depth of 15-18 inches over the soil and mulch it by incorporating organic materials as you continue. To make the mulches totally effective, they should not make direct contact with your plants and they should be thick enough (approx. 2 inches).

Aside from using organic/ biodegradable materials, mulching can also be done with black plastic. This gardening technique is especially useful if you plan to produce potato crops but don’t want to earth them up. Whether it is a small vegetable patch, a container garden, or a huge landscaped hideaway, mulching is an essential gardening technique that will help you keep your beloved sanctuary a beautiful paradise from season to season.

Royal Horticultural Society

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