Correct mulching: how and when to mulch the soil

Correct mulching: how and when to mulch the soil

Experienced gardeners and gardeners know effective methods to prevent weed growth and protect plants from the external environment. Almost every summer resident has already become convinced of the enormous benefits of mulching.

If you observe nature, you can see that trees shed their foliage and form a protective layer for the root system in winter and return nutrients to the soil from rotted fallen leaves. Nature was the first to come up with ways to mulch the soil. The main thing is to choose the right materials. If you follow the basic rules of mulching, you can not only enrich the soil and maintain plant health, but also increase the yield.

When and how to mulch the soil

Do not mulch in early spring. The soil should warm up well. Cold, damp soil under the mulch will cause rot and damage thermophilic plants. Mulch will restrict the access of heat from the ground to the crops. The optimal time for mulching the soil is early summer or late May.

The benefit of mulching is to maintain a favorable temperature for the plant around the roots and the necessary moisture in the soil. Mulch prevents the soil from drying out, prevents weeds from appearing, and reduces the frequency of watering.

Air exchange is important for the roots and stems of plants. To this end, a small gap should be left between crops and mulch for air circulation.

Before laying mulch, the soil must be loosened and moistened, it should not be dense. You can loosen the beds immediately after rain, then additional moisture is not required. The optimal mulching layer is about eight centimeters.

A lot of benefits for soil and plants can be reaped by using organic mulch. Wood sawdust and shavings, tree bark and nutshells, needles and hay - all this will attract earthworms and other beneficial insects to the site. With the help of worms, the microflora of the soil will improve, and, leaving such mulch for the winter, it will turn into humus with the help of bacteria.

Disadvantages of mulching

Under certain natural conditions, the mulch layer undergoes rotting - these are clean clay soils, abundant and prolonged rains. Too thick a layer of mulch contributes to the formation of rot.

All the advantages and benefits of mulching will appear no earlier than two years later.

Mulching in areas where there may be unexpected frosts can cause irreversible damage to plants. After all, heat remains in the soil, under the mulch. And the upper part of the plants remains unprotected.

Organic mulch is not only a home for worms and insects, but also attracts various rodents and slugs. The abundance of insects attracts many birds, which can harm the growth and development of plants. Mice and moles will only harm the future harvest.

Despite some negative aspects, mulching makes it easier for gardeners and summer residents. The need for irrigation and weeding decreases, the soil microflora improves. This agricultural practice is considered one of the most effective in agriculture.

Soil mulching is an important agricultural technique

Mulching is a method by which the most favorable conditions for the life of the root system of horticultural and horticultural crops are created in the soil. It is not enough to say that soil mulching is an important agricultural technique, it is necessary to consider all aspects of this work. In the proposed material, you will learn about all the subtleties and secrets of mulching. How and when such events are held and what they give in the end.

Mulching is one of the most important ways to improve both the quality and appearance of your soil. It costs nothing and is easy to do and yet is usually neglected. Basically, they mulch with humus, placing a thick layer of organic matter around the plants to suppress weeds, as well as improve both soil structure and plant growth. It is important to choose the right time for this job. Weed control mulch plays a different role - its purpose is to prevent, not suppress, weed growth without improving soil structure.

How and what to mulch the soil

How and what to mulch the soil - this problem often arises among novice gardeners and gardeners who have heard about the benefits of mulch, but do not know how to apply it in practice. Mulching techniques vary as well as the materials used for mulching. Consider the existing methods for mulching the soil.

Mulching with organic materials.

1. One of the most affordable mulching materials is straw. It is laid in a layer of 10-15 cm, which settles down to a layer of 4-6 cm. Such a layer of mulch, covering the plot of the garden, is the most optimal and fulfills its task with the greatest benefit. Mulching the soil retains moisture well, reflecting the rays of the summer sun, and the soil under the mulch remains cool.

Straw mulch well suppresses the appearance of weeds, prevents strawberries from getting dirty and rotting on the ground, and the fruits of cucumbers and tomatoes from getting sick. Potatoes covered with straw grow several times better and are much less affected by the beetle, since it wakes up later in cool soil and it is quite difficult for it to overcome the mulch layer.

2. Hay is not such a durable mulch as straw and is somewhat less effective at preventing weeds. But it is nutritious and quickly turns into humus. There can be many seeds of various plants in hay - this is a minus, but otherwise hay has the same advantages as straw and is also a positive answer to the question of how and with what to mulch the soil.

3. Sawdust, small shavings, shredded wood - this organic mulch does not well suppress weeds, but this drawback can be corrected by taking a thicker layer of mulch. This type of soil mulching should consist of lying and weathered materials, and it is better to pre-wate the soil with nitrogen fertilizer, consisting of infusions of manure, feces or urea (1 tablespoon per bucket of water).

Mulch, in the form of a woody material, contains almost no nitrogen and, rotting, absorbs it. Wood mulch should be light-colored to reflect the sun. For thermophilic plants (peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers), this mulch is used when the soil warms up, and for potatoes, cabbage, peas - immediately after planting. This type of mulch also includes rice husk - chaff, which is similar in properties to wood mulch.

4. Sunflower husks do not fight weeds very well, but retains moisture better than mulching the soil with compost. It is recommended to mulch the compost on top with this husk.

5. Foliage, grass cutting is another type of organic mulch. Grass cutting is a very nutritious mulch that holds moisture well and gives nitrogen to the soil. It must be laid in a thicker layer, since, when it dries, it greatly decreases in volume. The leaves are classified as dark mulch, so this mulch warms up strongly in the sun. Leaves are laid in the fall and can be planted in them in the spring.

6. Humus and compost are considered medicinal mulch because they protect garden crops from disease. For this type of mulch, a layer of 3-5 cm is enough, but since it quickly decreases in volume due to shrinkage and spreading by worms, its layer must be 15 cm.This mulch keeps spores in the soil, and mulch microbes actively suppress pathogens. Such mulch poured over the weeds prevents their further growth.

It consists of soil lumps that gardeners create by working with a hoe while loosening and cultivating in their beds. This mulch retains moisture only until the first rain. And one more disadvantage of such soil mulching is that loosening can help awaken and disperse fungi that are in the soil after winter.

Mulching with cover materials.

1. Cardboard and paper is a good answer to the question: how and with what to mulch the soil. Mulching the soil in this way helps to get rid of weeds and retain moisture. Cardboard is suitable for covering the area where melons and pumpkins are woven, as well as for sheltering vegetables and potatoes.

Correct use of mulch made of cardboard and paper: with a knife on the mulch, cut small crosses with a knife, into which the plants are planted. You need to dig in the mulch around the edges. Otherwise, weeds will appear in the holes and the soil will dry out. Newspapers are overlapped in 3-4 layers, cardboard in one layer, kraft paper (cement bags) in two layers.

2. Textiles, burlap are worse at cutting off weeds than cardboard and paper, but they let air and, partially, light through. Therefore, under such mulch, the soil can dry out quickly, which means that frequent watering will be required. At the same time, watering with such mulching can be directly on the material. The mulch material prevents the water jet from eroding and compacting the soil.

3. Black film is also mulch, although it is considered a non-breathable material. But under it, the soil is also structured and can breathe, since it is able to retain moisture well. This is a positive moment for the film, but negative - it does not turn into humus. Hence the conclusion - organic fertilizers must be added under the film.

4. Roofing material - also one of the options on the topic - how and how to mulch the soil. In fact, this is the same film, only several years more durable. Plants do not absorb any harmful substances from it, tar is a natural substance. Lay the roofing material with the powder up.

From the above, we can conclude that the best soil mulching is the introduction of organic mulch. And to the question: how and what to mulch the soil best of all, maybe the answer is - compost or when applying nitrogen fertilizers - straw, husk, grass.

Video composting, mulching and green manure:

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Mulching the right way: how and when to mulch your soil - gardening

Soil mulching is an agrotechnical technique that not only simplifies planting care, but also decorates individual sections of a country estate. Mulch protects the roots of plants from overheating or hypothermia, and the soil from drying out and prevents weeds from growing. We will tell gardeners how and when to mulch the soil correctly.

Mulching is one of the most important ways to improve both the quality and appearance of your soil. It costs nothing and is easy to do and yet is usually neglected. Basically, they mulch with humus, placing a thick layer of organic matter around the plants to suppress weeds, as well as improve both soil structure and plant growth. It is important to choose the right time for this job. Weed control mulch plays a different role - its purpose is to prevent, not suppress, weed growth without improving soil structure.

Mulch keeps the soil moist in summer, reducing the need for watering. The soil also stays cooler than soil without mulch, and these moist and cool conditions in the root zone encourage more vigorous growth than in non-mulched areas.

The dream of every gardener and gardener is to get a rich harvest with as little effort as possible. One of the cheapest, but at the same time, effective ways to increase soil fertility is to mulch it with cut grass. It is very common for the cut grass to be thrown away or burned, but it can be used as mulch. You can mulch with freshly cut grass, how to properly mulch and what you need for this - we will figure it out together in our article.

Mulching is nothing more than covering the soil with all sorts of materials that help protect it from drying out, prevent weeds from growing and create favorable conditions for earthworms. As a result of this simple technique, the only concern for the gardener is to take the harvest. All other garden work is no longer necessary: ​​moisture remains under the mulch layer longer, which significantly reduces the need for watering the beds, weeds grow much worse, and earthworms loosen the soil, they are actively bred in favorable conditions created for them. Of course, the beds are covered with a layer of mulch, it doesn't look as neat as without it. But this minus against the background of other advantages of mulching is so scanty that it can be completely neglected.

Asparagus beans are a tasty and healthy product; one of the elements of dietary nutrition is similar to meat in terms of protein content and composition. Many gardeners would like to grow it on their site. There is nothing complicated in this, the plant is unpretentious, and the rules of care are very simple.

Mulch is an organic material that grows in the garden beds. As mulch, you can use chopped straw, grass, dry tree leaves, sedirate crops, sawdust and other organic materials. First of all, mulch suppresses the growth of weeds. The second positive point of using mulch is shading the soil and retaining moisture. You do not need to water the garden often, since the moisture that is already in the soil does not evaporate. The third point is that mulch is an additional source of organic food, that is, it slowly rotts and feeds fertile crops. Also, a large number of beneficial insects live on the mulch garden.

On not mulching the beds, fertile crops due to a lack of carbon dioxide can undergo carbon starvation, which leads to the cessation of growth and drying out of plants. This is because the process of photosynthesis slows down. The amount of moisture on the surface of the leaves begins to decrease and the plants dry out. This problem is especially acute in greenhouses where there is no supply of carbon dioxide. If the soil is mulched, then carbon dioxide is released when the mulch decays. In this case, the plants do not suffer.

A good material for mulching is the harvest of green manure. For such purposes, it is better to sow perennial plants, for example, alfalfa, in unused areas of the garden, which can be mown several times a year.

To speed up the process of mulch decay, you can use preparations containing beneficial microorganisms. Such a drug is Syaivo. You just need to dilute such a drug in water and pour the mulch with the resulting solution. The decay process will accelerate significantly and more organic elements will enter the soil. But you must remember that in this case, more mulch will be required.

In order for the soil to warm up faster in spring, the winter mulch is shifted out of it. In late spring, early summer, after planting or sowing plants and abundant watering, they begin a new mulching. Seedling spots are designated with sand or mature compost, and the aisles are covered with mulch.

Many gardeners have used this same natural idea to cover the free area around trees and between rows of vegetables with a protective organic layer or sheeting. This process is called mulching.

Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil at the plant roots, protects the soil from the scorching sun rays that dry out the top fertile soil layer. Mulch allows you to set the required temperature and humidity in the fertile layer. Creates a favorable climate for plant growth. In addition, mulch suppresses the growth of weeds in the garden, improves the structure and fertility of the soil.Mulching the soil helps the gardener to save time and energy in working at their summer cottage: to do without weeding and loosening the soil, the number of watering in the beds is reduced.

I have been using mulching soil with cardboard for several years. The cardboard holds moisture well, there are no weeds on the site, there is no need to weed the site. It is only necessary to monitor the humidity under the cardboard. There is a possibility of watering or feeding under tomato bushes from a mug. If there is no rain for a long time, I irrigate under the cardboard using a hose from several points of the site.

A good layer of mulch helps control weeds, so weeding is less frequent. The fact is that through the thickness of the mulch, the seeds of many weeds are not able to germinate, because they are too deep. And even if some come out next to the roses, it is much easier to remove them than dense thickets. In addition, mulching can prevent a number of diseases from affecting roses and control the appearance of pests. Thus, a layer of mulch helps to reduce the detrimental effect of some soil fungi on roses, and reduces the spread of fungal spores.

Poultry manure and droppings are used not only as fertilizer, but also as a layer mulch. Thus, they serve a dual function. This material is used ripe and spread as mulch in late winter or early spring. It is not recommended to use it in autumn, so as not to warm up the roots in winter. The disadvantage of this material is that the droppings and manure can contain seeds of various plants, including weeds, so when using them as mulch, you need to additionally monitor the germination of excess plants.

Some growers use a thin layer of dry grass as mulch. However, it must be mature for this purpose, and in addition, it must be ensured that there are no herbicides left on it, as this can harm the roses. Mulching a layer of dry grass has another drawback: it has a low density, so it does not retain moisture so well.

The process of mulching the soil to gardeners was prompted by nature. So-so ! It is nature. After all, you have repeatedly seen in the forest, for example, under trees, bushes or plants, the soil is always covered by a layer of last year's leaves, the grass or needles have died out. This covering material reliably protects the soil from temperature extremes and drying out, keeping moisture in the soil, from water erosion.

Both organic and inorganic mulch have their pros and cons. Both of these types fulfill their functions, and one cannot say that something is better and something is worse. So, organic mulch rotts and enriches the soil with useful substances, it changes its acidity and significantly improves the structure. Just before starting mulching, be sure to make sure the soil is moistened, pull out perennial weeds and apply fertilizers (if necessary).

Mulching for the greenhouse has its own considerable plus: the activity of such soil inhabitants as earthworms, bacteria and microorganisms is significantly enhanced, and the land itself becomes rich and fertile without any additional fertilizing. In addition, the soil in the greenhouse does not overheat and protects delicate plants well during the period of short-term frosts, it works as a thermostat. And weeds don't grow here either - they just don't break through a thick layer of mulch.

Mulching films are sold in three types: transparent, black and two-color. The latter has one black side, the other reflective. And this is a real salvation for those who have to put a new greenhouse right on unmown grass with perennial weeds. And you need to do everything like this:

Another thing to pay attention to is not to accidentally bring slugs into the greenhouse. If you mulch with grass from a lawn mower, then only after they go into hibernation - they simply will not be on the site. If you do this earlier, they will sneak into the greenhouse and start eating up the plants.

Mulch helps control weeds. Unlike weeding with a hoe, when the root system of cultivated plants is damaged, mulching does not damage the roots, and the yield of raspberries and strawberries increases.

In summer, mulch protects the roots of strawberries from the heat, and the heart does not die (which happens when hilling with ordinary earth). When mulching plants, berries and leaves will not suffer from diseases, so they will not have contact with the ground. Fern leaves protect strawberries from nematodes; it is good to mulch the aisles with them.

Mulch can help gardeners reduce labor costs. Mulching raspberries, strawberries and other berries allows you to reduce the number of watering and tillage, delays the evaporation of moisture from the ground, protects it from crusting and weed growth.

In dry summers and in autumn, and when there is a danger of the onset of "black" frosts in young orchards, especially in gardens with dwarf fruit trees, mulching of near-stem circles will help protect plants from stress.

Types of mulching


A fairly economical method that allows you to grow healthy seedlings right in the ground. To begin with, the siderates are well dried, then they dig up the ground. When the soil warms up well, you can start planting seeds of cultivated plants. This applies to zucchini, eggplant and cucumbers. Such material will perfectly saturate the soil with nitrogenous compounds.

Cut grass

Suitable for mulching flower beds, flower beds and tree trunks. You can also throw it over weeded potatoes, instead of hilling. Just keep in mind that melons cannot be mulched like that, there is a risk of infecting them with rot and fungus.

Sawdust mulching

This method is often used to hide strawberries. Sawdust acts as a sorbent, so the berries do not come into contact with moist soil and do not rot. All that is needed is to weed the soil, cover the space between the rows with cardboard and add sawdust. Simple and effective.

Mulching with textiles and foil

These protective procedures apply in two cases:

  • construction of "dry blankets" for the winter for various ornamental plants and vines
  • protection of beds from weeds and moisture evaporation.

When using this method in the summer, use only transparencies and agrotextile. By the way, it is very good for mulching strawberries.

Peat mulching

It will protect the soil from weathering and leaching of fertile components. Peat gradually passes into the soil, improving its composition. This material is most often used for sheltering tomatoes and raspberries.