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Discover the different types of mulching

Discover the different types of mulching



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For several years, the virtues of mulching have been largely rediscovered by amateur gardeners. This is fortunate, because it is well used, mulching does great service to the gardener. In summer, it limits weeding and watering, it nourishes the soil and beautifies the beds. In winter, it protects plants from the cold, limits soil erosion and brings a touch of color to beds. Aesthetic benefits, saving time and energy are there. Not to mention the economic aspect! Indeed, the materials used for mulching - dead leaves, crushed wood ... - are most often local and inexpensive, even free. So many reasons to adopt or generalize this practice, by varying the materials used.

The different types of mulching


J-F. Mahé Basically, who says mulching… says straw! This basic material, derived from the cultivation of wheat, is very effective in protecting crops, both from the cold in winter and the risk of evaporation in summer. In the countryside, it is relatively easy to get them for a low cost.

The different types of mulching


J-F. Mahé The ground wood is generally obtained from the pruning of hedges and trees in the garden. The woods of small and medium section are shredded using a plant shredder, then spread in the massifs where they will decompose over time, enriching the soil. Here is a technique that costs nothing and allows you to revalue a material that could not be more local!

The different types of mulching


J-F. Mahé The gardener who does not have hedges from which he could use the pruning fruit can however find wood-based mulching in garden centers: here, the material comes from the reuse of wooden pallets.

The different types of mulching


J-F. Mahé Dead leaves are often an abundant resource in gardens, and above all completely free! The only "cost", physical, is that caused by their collection. Less aesthetic than wood-based mulching, mulching with dead leaves is primarily used in the vegetable patch. In winter, it effectively protects plots left empty, thus limiting the appearance of weeds. This type of mulching is also interesting for protecting fragile perennials while waiting for their emergence from the ground in fine weather.

The different types of mulching


J-F. Mahé They can be picked along country roads, or in the undergrowth first. The ferns, once dry, are both a mulch and a protection against the cold for fearful plants and young seedlings. Here they help young spinach shoots settle in at a time when outside temperatures are starting to drop.

The different types of mulching


J-F. Mahé Mulching with mowed lawns takes place in summer, when lawn maintenance generates an abundance of this raw material, which the unsophisticated gardener does not know what to do. Brought gradually to the foot of the vegetables, until reaching a thickness of ten centimeters or more, mowing the lawn has the main advantage of regulating evaporation. By mulching, you will water less, while considerably limiting the weeding work. You will also save yourself weekly trips to the recycling center. So many reasons to adopt this particularly local and economical technique!

The different types of mulching


J-F. Mahé Another commonly used plant material: the bark, especially pine, offered in all garden centers. Their degradation is slower than that of other plant mulches, which reduces the rate of renewal. Having a tendency to acidify the soil, they should be reserved for acidophilic plants such as heather and rhododendrons.

The different types of mulching


J-F. Mahé Original, mulching from kitchen waste! Onion peels are particularly interesting, because of their appearance (color and texture) and their odor which makes certain predators flee. To get the best benefit, use them in the vegetable patch to mulch your vegetables. To those of onions, you can add other vegetable peels, like those of carrots and potatoes for example. They will decompose quietly, enriching the soil directly at the base of the crops.

The different types of mulching


J-F. Mahé The pozzolan is a volcanic rock and red or black in color. Light and porous, it decorates the soil without compacting it and while allowing water regulation. Unlike plant mulch, mineral mulch does not enrich the soil. However, it is more durable and very effective in controlling weeds.