Allow us to veer from our usual Veg Star of the Month to celebrate the humble mulch.
While the country is gripped by one of the toughest droughts in recent memory, mulch could (and should) be your new best friend. A good layer of organic mulch will go a long way in reducing the amount of evaporation from your soil, ensuring that your precious plants don’t dry out.
Mulch will also help keep those thirsty weeds at bay. Weeds tends to soak up a lot of water, leaving your own delicious seedlings and plants to go thirsty, and have to fight extra hard for every little drop – disaster for the more delicate varieties.
We’re also approaching autumn, and again, mulch should be your firmest friend here to protect your crops from the cold, and variations in temperature.
Mulch really is a superstar for your organic garden, and so very easy to produce from ‘ingredients’ that are easily at your disposal. The main factor to consider is that whatever you choose to use in your mulch, you must be 100% certain that it has not been chemically treated.
Things like fallen leaves and lawn cuttings are ideal. With lawn cuttings, make sure there are no seeds in the mix, and aim to dry the cuttings out slightly before using them as mulch.
Make sure you get rid of any weeds in your beds before you beginning mulching
Spread the mulch evenly on the bare soil between and around plants
Lay down your mulch after you’ve watered
Keep mulch about 2-3cm from plant stems – wet mulch can cause plant stems to rot
You can add organic compost to your mulch for an extra nutrient boost