Mulching- now I know what you're thinking... what on EARTH does that mean? Should I be doing it? Is it hard? Is it expensive?
I had all these questions too when I first heard someone talking about it.
When someone explained it is pretty much adding a layer of fresh mud/organic matter on top of borders to help them get the nutrients and get the soil structure right it didn't seem so daunting.
Why do gardeners 'mulch' their borders?
1) It saves water- by adding organic matter to the top of borders this mixes with the soil as it breaks down and this organic matter holds onto water meaning you don't have to water as often and your plants will thrive.
2) It suppresses weeds- BIG TICK! We all want to do less weeding. Mulching covers the borders of any self seeded weeds and suppresses the light and therefore stops them growing.
3) Mulching improves the soil around the plants and in the borders, and it also gives a tidy and neat appearance too.
4) It also protects the roots of plants in Winter. Often plants such as perennials will die back but the roots will still be there waiting to start regrwoth in Sprin and into Summer. Adding a layer of mulch helps protects these roots from any harsh frosts or heavy rain fall.
When do I mulch my borders?
Best done in Mid Spring- this is because annual weeds ahvent yet germinated and perennials are dormant. You can also mulch in autumn as plants are dying back.
What can we use as mulch?
Biodegradable mulches release nutrients into the soil and help improve the structure. Good things to use are garden compost, wood chippings, bark, leaf mould, well rotted manure or seaweed.
How much mulch do I need?
For it to be effective you need the layer of matter you are adding to be around 5cm deep. Too little and it wont have the effect you want- too much and this can cause fungal issues.
Mulching can seem overwhelming but once you know its simply a 5cm layer of organic matter to help the plants thrive and suppress weeds, it's quite simple.
If you're looking for a lovely delivery of mulch I highly recommend the team at Plant Grow. They're super friendly and you can get bulk bags delivered to your house. Give them a call for advice, or head to their website here: https://www.plantgrow.co.uk/