Wanda’s word on Mulch
I know, I know, everyone goes on and on about mulch. BUT…there is a good reason. In fact, there are LOTS of good reasons.
First of all, let me just say- not all mulches are created equal. The first thing you should check is if the mulch has been dyed or not. I’m going to be honest and say that my main reason for mentioning this is that I find the concept insulting. I can carry on for weeks on this subject but I will get to the point….
So, what type of mulch does your garden need?
Woodchip and Pine Bark Mulch
For most gardens, Wood Chip or Pine Bark mulches are perfect. They are nice and coarse which allows the water to penetrate through to the garden bed and retain the water whilst it is there. As wood based mulches can draw nitrogen from the soil (nitrogen being essential for plant growth) it’s a good idea to spread some compost and/or blood and bone over the soil before applying the mulch. You’ll also want to apply the mulch quite thickly- between 5-10cms at least. Woodchip mulch looks natural and goes really well with native gardens. Pine Bark has a great red colouring which really helps to brighten and define garden beds.
Straw/ Lupin Mulch
Lupin and Straw are generally used as mulch for vegetable gardens or roses. You’ll want to apply it 5-10 cms thick for the initial application, Keep in mind that they break down quite quickly and flatten over time. You may need to apply another 2-5cms after about six weeks. If you are buying bales, remember that they are VERY compacted, and will probably go further than you think. Also keep in mind that a guaranteed weed free option is always better as some bales may contain hay seeds!
The Black Mulch
I’m including this, even though I really don’t like it. I know it LOOKS beautiful but it is deadly. Due to the structure, it actually absorbs water rather than letting it through to the garden bed. On top of that, once the mulch has dried out, it actually absorbs water out of the ground. Then, due to the colouring, it heats up and starts to bake the soil. Which is the exact opposite of that you want it to do. Personally, I’d stay far away from this, unless you want to put mulch in for decorative purposes only. Like in a pot plant…with fake plant.