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Updated: Jun 15, 2021

Mulch is simply a layer of one or more various types of materials, spread over the bare ground surrounding, vegetables, bushes, trees and other plants. The reason for doing this is multifold.

  • Mulch helps shade the ground, keeping more water in the soil.

  • It will also actively block unwanted plants (weeds) from growing.

  • It will eventually be consumed by microorganisms and worms, aiding in soil fertility.

  • It will help shade the roots of plants, helping them from overheating on hot days.

  • As well, it helps keep less hardy plants warmer during the winter, allowing for better survival.

  • Mulch also will improve the overall look of your garden.

In Permaculture, mulch is almost always an organic (plant) matter, that way a constant supply of nutrients are added to the garden in the form of humus. If adding green plant material, be sure not to make the layer too thick (2"), otherwise it can rot and cause more damage than good. 3-4" can be applied if dried.

Mulch is typically applied in the late spring/ early summer to help stabilize temperatures and retain moisture for growing seedlings. Another

mulch can be applied in the fall for plants going into dormancy. Mulch can and will effectively prevent plant growth, so be sure to clear some off of the dormant plants once warm temperatures have officially arrived in spring.

There are many different types of mulches. I will not go into the synthetic, fake mulches as I do not believe they provide any benefits over the organic mulches and would not use them in my garden for personal ideology.

Some mulch types include;

  • hay/straw

  • grass clippings

  • pine needles (to create acidic soil)

  • bark/wood shavings

  • plant trimmings

  • cardboard

  • burlap

  • leaves

  • compost

  • rocks/pebbles

  • cover crops (green manure)

and more.

Use mulch as a highly effective way to make your gardens more productive, healthy, and weed free. In time you will have a prolific permaculture paradise!


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