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How to Mulch Your Gardens

4 August 2013

With spring fast approaching now is the time to start considering a plan for your garden and this should include mulching. Read on for advice on how to mulch your garden.

by Robert Thomson

how to mulch your garden

There are many products on the market these days and it is important to select a mulch that will complement the plants in your garden, provide some organic benefit to the plants, and add to the aesthetics of the area.

Another tip prior to ordering your mulch is to determine the quantity required. The easiest way to do this is to measure out your garden and calculate the m2 of the area. Multiply this amount by 0.1 of the depth of mulch you wish to apply (0.1 = 100mm depth). This simple step will ensure an accurate amount to order.

Below is a list of benefits that can be obtained by mulching and some examples of mulches you can use.

Benefits of Mulch
* 100% environmentally friendly.
* Prevents up to 75% water loss due to evaporation.
* Suppresses and inhibits weed growth.
* Promotes stronger growth rates and improves yields.
* Improves the visual appeal of gardens and landscapes.
* Adds organic matter to soil.
* Encourages mircoorganisms.
* Improves worm populations.
* Improves air porosity and water movement through the soil.
* Provides organic nutrients.
* Reduces garden maintenance.
* Improves soil friability by allowing water and nutrients to penetrate to the root system.
* Helps improve pH balance.
* Reduces the watering requirements of gardens.

Types of Mulch
* 25mm Hoop Pine

Hoop pine has a rich brown curly appearance and is renowned for its ability to cling on to sloping terrain as bark particles twist and mat together. This mulch is unlikely to blow or wash away, but still allows air flow to the soil, as well as being excellent at water retention. It is long lasting, has good capacity to absorb and retain moisture, and is also extremely low maintenance. Hoop Pine’s light tan colour will work with most colour schemes and installation should be to a depth of 100mm.

This mulch is great under native trees and shrubs where leaves and bark fall often as it will blend into the mulch.  Hoop pine does not breakdown very fast so it doesn’t add compost to the soil. It also does not compact quickly.

* 15mm and 25mm Slash Pine
Slash pine bark is one of the most popular landscaping materials and is noted for its natural tan colour, sweet pine aroma, low maintenance, and chunky appearance. It is easy to install due to its free flowing nature and installation depth should be 100mm.

Slash pine is an attractive decorative mulch, 15mm has a warm tan colour, whereas the 25mm Slash pine is more reddish-tan in appearance.  This type of mulch helps to repress weeds and assist with moisture retention.

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