One of the great things about being a part of this challenge is that we are constantly reminded about what we should be doing around the garden. Even if you’re a seasoned gardener (excuse the pun), it’s easy to overlook things, especially in spring when you’re so busy. In her recent admin comments, Sarah reminded us to apply mulch before the rain sets in again, if we haven’t already done so. Yesterday, I managed to spread some lawn clippings around our tamarillo, lemon and banana trees (see photo). Fortunately I had weeded the area about a fortnight ago, so I could go straight to the task of applying the mulch. We don’t have much of a lawn because it gave way to the garden over time. As a consequence, we don’t get many clippings. However, the neighbour’s property was very overgrown as it had been abandoned for a long time after the tenants moved out. When the lawn was finally mowed two days ago, there were lots of clippings which I gathered for the garden. There was no one around to ask permission, so I only raided the front (I didn’t want to sneak around the back and be busted trespassing!). Anyway, their lawn looks much tidier now that the layer of clippings has been removed. I was going to purchase some Kolush seaweed and manuka mulch which I trialled last year for Palmers Garden Centre, who kindly gave me four bags to use around the garden and follow up on through my blog and on social media. I had excellent results using this product – lots of lush growth, flowers and fruit on our trees. However, lawn clippings are free. I’m trying to economise more in the garden as I’m very conscious of the fortune we spend for the upkeep. I also wanted to experiment and try using different mulches around the garden, comparing their efficacy later on in my blog. For now, in the challenge, I thought this would be a good time to share some tips about mulching. There is a lot of ground to cover (again, excuse the pun!) so I will spread (haha) this over two posts.
What is mulch?
Mulch is material which is spread over the surface of soil. I will outline some common mulches in my next post.
Where to mulch
Anywhere you are growing plants, whether in the ground, raised beds or containers
When to mulch
Mulch is important to have in the garden all year round. Typically, I apply mulch in spring and autumn as it makes sense to do so straight after new plantings. How often you mulch depends on the material you use and the length of time it takes to break down, as well as how often you plant and replant crops.
Reasons for mulching
Tomorrow, I will outline the different types of mulches you can use, as well as some tips for applying mulch.