Garden mulching has three main purposes, it reduces weeds, it retains moisture and it can make a garden look fantastic. The question is what sort of garden mulching do you need, what sort of garden mulching do you like the look of and which sort of garden mulching works best.
The garden mulching “look” that you like is really a personal preference. Some people like the dyed black mulch as it can match or contrast with their house colour. Some people like white stones and yet other people seek the natural look of wood chips or pine back. So really, you need to select what is best for you and your property.
What is Best?
Once you have selected which mulch you like, you need to establish two things. Will your selected garden mulch prevent weeds and will it retain moisture. This is where we come to the application thickness. Can the garden mulch be spread thick enough to prevent light reaching the weeds and seeds, if so you need it to be at least 100 mls thick, 200 mls would be better. To work out how many cubic metres simply multiply the length by the width by the thickness you want. Then investigate the cost per cubic metre and the labour component and see what you can afford. Mulch applied at that thickness will almost certainly retain
At Jim’s mowing we are not a great fan of weed mat as we often get the jobs of pulling it out as the weeds have taken over and the product has failed. Instead we recommend applying garden mulch thickly and then maintaining the garden and add new garden mulch as it’s required.
Wood Chip Mulch Shortcomings
Wood chips or wood based garden mulch products can leach nitrogen out of the soil as the wood based mulch products deteriorate/rot. Regular applications of a suitable fertilizer to your plants with strong NPK attributes will counteract this shortcoming.
High nitrogen based garden mulch is good for your vegetable garden. As the mulch breaks down it will add to the soil and usually helps increase the organic content at the same time. Lucerne straw and pea straw are a couple that are easily sourced and quite reasonable in price.
How to Find Garden Mulch?
The best way is online and starts with your local garden supplier. They usually have a web site showing you what is available, how much it is and the delivery cost. Failing that go to the shop and have a look and ask questions.
Be aware that if your soil or garden has been full of weeds, you will have a seed bank in the soil. Some weed seeds like thistle seeds stay viable in the soil for over ten years. So the importance of laying the mulch thickly and then maintaining it will prevent these seeds getting the light they need to germinate.
Economy Garden Mulching
Your own recycled compost makes great mulch as does newspapers, cardboard and cut grass. You may get extra weeds from some of these ideas but they are economical to source. Bush mulch from re-cycled green waste from some council rubbish tips can also be a place to source cheaper products. Recycled rubber and wood is also on the market under various brands and may suit some people. Probably not the best garden mulch for vegetable gardens but can be economical to buy.
Jim’s Mowing are experts in assisting you with your garden mulching and can discuss your needs, offer advice and give you a free quote.