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An Introduction To Mulches

An Introduction To Mulches

An Introduction To Mulches. Stella Fear from Holland Park in London shows you the basics of using various types of mulches to improve your soil. This quick video shows you gardening tips on how to mulch.

Step 1: You will need

Step 2: Mulch types

Mulches are available as loose mulch or sheet mulch, which involves laying fibre membrane over the soil. See VideoJug's 'How to stop weeds using sheet mulch' for more information.
Loose mulch can be organic or inorganic. Organic mulches include bark chippings, compost, leaf mould and even tea bags. These mulches break down over time and are most effective on soils and plants that need a rich base of nutrients. Be careful not to use bark chippings from acidic or alkaline trees on plants that don't grow in these conditions. Inorganic mulches include pebbles, gravel and slate. They don't fertilise the soil as they don't break down, but are good for improving drainage and look more attractive than organic mulches.

Step 3: When to apply

Late winter is a good time to apply mulch, as the soil will be moist from winter rains and the mulch will lock this moisture into the soil. If the soil is dry, water your plants before adding any mulch. Organic mulches break down and will need to be reapplied every few years, whereas inorganic mulches should last for longer.

Step 4: Apply the mulch

Shovel some mulch into a wheelbarrow. Move to the chosen site and sprinkle it onto the soil, being careful not to damage any plants. Apply the mulch to bare patches in the flower bed and around the base of your plants, making sure you don't pile it against the stems.

Step 5: Spread the mulch

Using a rake or your hands, spread the piles of mulch over the soil so you have an even layer at least 5 centimetres thick.