One of the ways to protect plants from negative natural factors is soil mulching. Mulch is considered to cover the ground near planted plant material layer. Those wishing to learn about mulching the soil, what it is and how to apply it, it is necessary to read useful information on this topic.
What is mulching plants?
To give a precise definition of what this is, it is possible in the following way: the so-called shelter of the land near the planted garden and garden crops with a layer of any material that passes air and water well. This method of processing plants known to gardeners for a long time. Many did not even try to apply it in practice, because initially they do not believe in its effectiveness. However, those gardeners who used this method, are convinced of its positive effect on the result of the harvest. Some gardeners even have their secrets of mulching.
How can you mulch the soil?
The material for mulching the soil can be organic and inorganic. Representatives of the first species after some time begin to rot, while feeding the soil. They favorably influence the structure of the soil. Mulching organic materials change the acidity of the earth, so you need to apply them with all attention.
Organic mulches include:
- garden and mushroom compost;
- dry leaves and foliar humus;
- manure with straw;
- Wood materials (sawdust, shavings, etc.);
- mown grass;
- eggshell ;
- crushed greenery of various medicinal plants (nettle, legumes, comfrey, yarrow and others).
Inorganic mulching materials have, in addition to protective, also an aesthetic function. These include the following natural raw materials:
- a rock;
- crushed stone;
- marble chips;
- granite crumb;
- colored synthetic materials.
Mulching with sawdust
Compared with other types of fertilizers, the use of sawdust is an economical option, it is environmentally friendly raw materials. But mulching with sawdust has nuances that must be taken into account. So, for these purposes, it is necessary to make sawdust (not necessarily the first freshness and purity) in the compost . The best time for this is the spring period, so they rot faster.
To prepare mulch from sawdust, fresh wood shavings in significant quantities, urea, ash and water will be required. It is also advisable to add straw, sloping grass and various organic waste. Urea is mixed with water until completely dissolved. This solution moistens the ingredients for mulching. It is recommended to add manure to the mulch. So mulching will not only protect the soil from negative natural factors, but will also saturate it with useful substances.
Mulching with straw
Straw as a mulch for soil can be used either alone or in combination with other materials of an organic type. A good effect is its use combined with compost or hay. As with any other method of fertilizing the land, straw mulching has pros and cons. One of the common mistakes of gardeners is the hiding of the soil with a too high layer of straw. For this reason, its lower part rot.
For clay soil, it is recommended to use chopped straw. She sprinkle a layer of 2 cm (not more). After intervals of 2 weeks you can add mulch in small quantities. An excellent effect gives mulching from cut straw with manure. This raw material is also suitable for surface composting (another method of mulching). The process of such processing consists in the following: alternating layers of straw, manure, crushed greenery of plants. All this is covered by the surface of the prepared beds. To enhance the effect of fertilizer should often water mulch.
Mulching of mown grass
Suitable for mulching is dried grass, fresh is not good. Mulching with grass is done on previously weeded and well watered beds. The soil must be well warmed by the sun, otherwise the growth of plants under the layer of mulch can slow down. The grass is layered in a layer of 5-7 cm. Gradually it will become thinner, and it will be necessary to pour a little mulch a little from above.
Mulching with egg trays
Unlike simple mulching, trays are more dense material, which is a compressed paper. Through them, no weed breaks, and even the trays perfectly retain moisture. Mulching the soil with egg trays perfectly loosens the soil, they make the soil loose and improve its structure. If you do not step on the trays stacked on the beds, and walk along the path free from them, these materials can not be thrown away and applied in the next year.
Mulching by peat
Peat as a means of mulch serves as the washing away of nutrients from the earth. This material prevents the development of pathogenic flora in plants. This mulch should not be removed from the bed - the peat passes into the ground. Mulching peat in the spring gives optimal conditions for obtaining a rich harvest. The use of this natural raw material promotes the rapid growth of crops.
Mulching with pine needles
Mulching needles or pine needles is an excellent fertilizer. It is recommended to add needles directly to the ground. So the quality of the fertilized land will improve significantly. Mulching with pine needles increases the hygroscopicity of the soil. At the same time, this material retards the growth of some plants. From such mulch tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines grow poorly. It is recommended to use pine needles in combination with grass and hay (can be straw). The resulting mixture should rot in a few months.
Mulching with pine bark - rules
The bark of coniferous trees for mulching is well suited for processing berry bushes and perennial garden crops. Such mulch perfectly passes water and thus does not allow it to evaporate. Due to the preservation of moisture, the roots of plants do not dry out. It should be remembered that the use of bark for mulching the soil prevents the plants from obtaining nitrogen and phosphorus. Therefore, it will be necessary to additionally fertilize the soil with nitrogen and phosphorus concentrates.
Gardeners take the rule of putting under such a mulch for another layer of mown grass and cardboard or thick paper. The bark and itself perfectly protects the beds from weeds, and in combination with these materials, the protective effect only increases. Mulching of soil with bark is recommended to be carried out in the autumn period. Another rule: this mulch should not touch the bark of bushes or trees. This can cause the cortex to subside during the thaw period.
Often, inexperienced amateur gardeners want to know more about mulching the soil, what it is and how to apply it. Such an interest in this method is not surprising. Mulching of the soil has long been famous for its favorable effect on it. Yields increase many times and plant care becomes easier, since using mulch does not require frequent watering.