Mulched gardens grow healthier, have less weeds, and retain moisture much better than un-mulched ones. When done properly, mulching allows you to spend less time watering, weeding, and fighting pest problems. At Bittern Garden Supplies, we have all your mulch needs covered, from eucalyptus mulch to pine bark and red gum chips, we are the leading gardening supplies centre on the Mornington Peninsula. Read on for our guide to organic mulch.
How to Mulch
Organic mulch is an attractive way to combat weeds as well as enrich your soil. For use as a weed deterrent it’s important to lay the mulch down on soil that is already weeded, and lay down a thick-enough layer to discourage new weeds from coming up through, around 5cm should be sufficient. Mulches that also retains moisture (like wood chips) can slow soil warming so in spring, so pull mulch away from perennials and bulbs for faster growth. Keep mulch a couple of centimetres away from crowns and stems of flowers and vegetables to prevent rotting and ensure deep mulch is pulled back about 6 to 12 inches from established tree trunks.
Picking the Right Mulch for Your Garden
There are two basic kinds of mulch, organic and inorganic. Organic mulches include formerly living material such as leaves, straw, grass clippings, compost, wood chips, shredded bark and sawdust. Inorganic mulches include black plastic, stones and geotextiles. Both types discourage weeds, but organic mulches also improve the soil as they decompose. While inorganic mulches don’t break down and enrich the soil, they are perfect for insulating soil from heat or frost.
The Different Types of Organic Mulch
Barks and Woodchips
An economical choice they take longer to break down, wood based products such as black mulch, pine bark, red gum chips and eucalyptus mulch are excellent products that are best used around established plants like shrubs and trees where immediate soil improvement is not required. Wood-based mulch can cause nitrogen deficiency, causing plant leaves to turn yellow, you can avoid this by adding blood and bone, which adds extra nitrogen to the soil.
Compost will enrich your soil and make your plants happy, simply spread it around the garden, applying it up to 40mm deep. It provides nutrition and improves soil slowly and safely, helping with water retention and aeration. It’s best to spread compost as a thin layer around plants and top it with another mulch, such as leaf mulch, this way the compost will stay moist and biologically active, providing maximum benefit to your plants.
Straw and Hay
Another great mulch particularly for vegetable gardens is straw, salt hay, or weed-free hay. This is an attractive option and has most of the benefits of the other mulches – retaining soil moisture, keeping down weeds, and enriching the soil when it breaks down. Ensure the you don’t pile hay or straw up to the stems of vegetables or the trunks of fruit trees or you will encourage slug and rodent damage.
At Bittern Garden Supplies, we’re home to a huge range of quality garden mulch supplies for homes and businesses throughout Mornington and the Mornington Peninsula. If you’re looking for cost-effective and high quality options such as eucalyptus mulch, black mulch, mushroom mulch and more, we have you covered. Buy in bags or in bulk, we have mulch to suit your requirements and budget. Visit us today.