Mulches are used to protect plants from extreme weather conditions or harsh elements. They act like a barrier between soil and air, keeping out moisture and protecting plants from extremes of temperature. Misting is one way of using mulch. Other methods include planting rocks over the top of the ground, placing stones in holes dug into the ground, and even burying large amounts of leaves under the garden bed.
Mulches can also provide additional protection for your garden when it comes to pests such as spider mites, aphids, scale insects and other leafhoppers. When these pests attack your flowers and vegetables they cause them to wilt and die.
This makes the plant less attractive to pollinators which would otherwise bring food back to the hive. Insects may also damage your crops if they get inside the fruit or vegetable during ripening time.
The most common type of mulch is wood chips. These are usually made up of small pieces of wood with a few nails or screws added to make them look like solid material.
Wood chips can be found at any hardware store, but you will need to use caution when handling them since they could contain sharp objects. You should only use wood chips that have been treated so that they don’t attract rodents and insects, such as sawdust, pine needles or straw.
Larger stones such as pebbles can also act as a mulch. This is not usually the most attractive option, but the materials are easy to find if you need to cover a large area.
You should avoid using crushed stone since it is prone to attracting moisture and causing fungus or mildew to grow. You should place stones in alternating directions rather than placing them in rows so that they look more natural.
Mulch is a valuable part of your garden and will help to keep plants healthy and free from pests. You can even use wood ash instead of wood mulch, which is more attractive than plain stones.
You can also add organic materials such as grass clippings or cocoa bean hulls to the soil. By doing this you are recycling yard waste into a more natural method of repelling insects without having to use harsh chemicals that can harm the environment.
Sources & references used in this article:
Mulch It!: A Practical Guide to Using Mulch in the Garden and Landscape by S Campbell – 2012 – books.google.com
Recent advances in mulching materials and methods for modifying soil environment by L Chalker-Scott – 2015 – Pullman, Washington: Washington …
Effects of Mulching on Soil Properties and Growth of Tea Olive (Osmanthus fragrans) by MA Kader, M Senge, MA Mojid, K Ito – Soil and Tillage Research, 2017 – Elsevier
The cultural ecology of Puebloan pebble-mulch gardens by X Ni, W Song, H Zhang, X Yang, L Wang – Plos one, 2016 – journals.plos.org
Using undersown clovers as living mulches: effects on yields, lepidopterous pest infestations, and spider densities in a Hawaiian broccoli agroecosystem by D Lightfoot – Human Ecology, 1993 – Springer
C. Plastic mulching: principles and benefits. by CRR Hooks, MW Johnson – International Journal of Pest …, 2004 – Taylor & Francis
Macro-and micro-plastics in soil-plant system: effects of plastic mulch film residues on wheat (Triticum aestivum) growth by PE Waggoner, PM Miller, H De Roo – Bulletin. Connecticut …, 1960 – cabdirect.org
Landscape Mulches: What Are The Choices in Florida? by Y Qi, X Yang, AM Pelaez, EH Lwanga, N Beriot… – Science of the Total …, 2018 – Elsevier
Strawberry yield over red versus black plastic mulch by ML Duryea – 2001 – egovlink.com