One of the important works that are usually done in gardening activities is to cover your soil with certain type of mulches.
There are many types of mulching materials that you can use for the soil of your vegetables garden. They are ranging from the waste materials from your gardening activities to man-made mulching materials that are manufactured in various factories.
Each of mulching materials has their own Pros and Cons. However, there is no one can deny that mulching could give a lot of benefits to your plants and soils.
One of the benefits of mulching is that it can help you to retain the soil moisture.
Soil moisture is very important for plants. It allows the plants to uptake the water that is available within the soil in order to do the photosynthesis process.
Soil moisture also helps to give optimum condition for soil organisms’ activities that can also contribute to soil fertility.
By using organic type mulching materials, you can also help to provide the soil with soil nutrients that is important for plants growth instead of using chemical fertilizers.
Mulching can also help you to get rid of pests that could affect your plants health. Man-made mulching materials could also be used in helping you to deter pests from your vegetable gardens instead of organic mulching material such as compost.
Example of man-made mulching that can help you to deter pests from your garden is the silver plastic mulching that is widely used in agriculture sector.
There are researches that have been done by the universities that have confirmed that by using the silver types mulching material can help to reduce the insects’ pests attack to the plants.
Mulching can also help to control weeds in your vegetable gardens. The mulches that you put on the soil surface will suppress the weed’s seeds from germinating.
Examples of organic or natural type of mulches that you can use in your vegetable garden are:
b) Wood chips
d) Dried leaves
c) Grass clippings
Examples of man-made mulching materials that are available in the market are:
a) Plastic mulch
b) Weed control fabric
d) Rubber mulch
e) Newspapers or Card boxes
You do not need to use all type of mulching materials in your vegetables garden, just pick one that is most suitable and economical to you.
Back to our main topic that is how to use mulch in the vegetable garden, actually there are a few ways or techniques that you need to consider when putting mulches in your vegetable garden.
A few considerations that need to be looked into when applying the mulches are as below:
a) The thickness of the mulch.
When applying the mulches, it cannot be too thin and also cannot be too thick. 2 to 3 inches of height of mulches on the soil surface should be enough for you to get the benefits of mulching.
If you put the mulches too thin, it will defeat the purpose of the mulching itself as the quantity of the mulches is not enough for you to get the benefit from the mulching application.
Too much of mulches are also not good for you as it may cause problems to you over time as well as wasting your money.
One of the problems that may happened by too much of mulches is that the water that you provide to the plants may not be able to penetrate into the mulch and eventually will not reach to the vegetable plants’ roots.
Your plants would wilt and would eventually die because of this situation.
Another aspect that you need to consider when putting too much of mulches is that you are actually wasting your money and energy in doing the unnecessary works.
In order to avoid the above condition from happening, it is good if you could first calculate the amount of mulches material that is needed for the whole of your garden before buying them.
b) Raking old Mulch
Before putting new mulches onto any surfaces that have been mulch before, it is best if you could first rake the old mulches out and loosen them.
This is done due to the old mulches tend to be compacted and matting on the soil surface.
If you do not do this, there is high possibility that the water will not be able to penetrate the mulches and cannot reach into the soil to be taken by the plants.
c) Use mulch correctly.
Another aspect to be considered when applying mulches to your vegetables garden is to put the mulches with the correct techniques.
There are many people who seem to not really understand and have no idea in applying the mulches correctly onto their vegetable garden especially the man-made mulches.
As an example is what usually happened with the plastic mulches, this type of mulches are best to be applied before you plant any plants on your garden beds.
This is because, applying the plastic mulches after there are already plants on the planting beds will need you to do a lot of cuttings to the plastic mulches and that is not good.
Therefore, whatever type of mulches that you are going to use please make sure that you know how to install and how to use it properly. The best is you should do a little bit of research on how to use your desired mulches properly before buying them.
d) Apply Mulches Correctly
Lastly, another aspect that need to be looked into when applying mulches onto your vegetable garden is to put them correctly.
When people put mulches in their vegetable garden they are expecting the benefits of it, however if the mulches are put incorrectly then the opposite condition will happen.
Instead of giving you the benefits they could create problems to you.
Please do not put the mulches too near to the base of the vegetable plants.
Putting the mulches to near to the plants’ base will most likely to cause the plants base to be rotten and your plants will eventually die.
When using compost as your mulches, please ensure that the compost is already ready and suitable to be put to your vegetables garden.
Unready compost will attract other pest that can ruin your vegetables plants.
You are also need to make sure that the compost that you are using is free from the weed seeds’ to avoid weed problems in your vegetables garden.
That is a little bit of sharing on how to use mulches in your vegetable gardens.
Should you need any help or clarification from me regarding this topic, please do not hesitate to ask me in the comment section below.
Experienced people are also welcomed to give their opinions and suggestions regarding the topics that we have discussed in the comment section below.