Mega mulching

When the 900-litre bag of compost that I ordered online was first unloaded, I thought I might have miscalculated. How on earth (no pun intended), was I going to get through all of that?!

900-litre bag of mulch
900-litre bag of mulch

3 good reasons to mulch

Mulching (what a wonderful word!) is the best thing you can do for your garden.

  1. Mulching reduces weeds (less weeding).
  2. Mulching retains moisture (less watering).
  3. Mulching improves the structure of your soil (healthier plants).

‘Black gold’

I have heavy clay soil, so I try to add as much organic material as I can throughout the year from my two compost bins, along with various shredded materials. But this year, with a bit more time on my hands than usual thanks to Lockdown, I decided to give my garden a treat and mulch on a much grander scale.

And so I found myself ordering a whole lot of compost mix called ‘black gold’, a blend of peat-free soil improver and well-rotted farmyard dung and animal bedding.

Premium mulch
‘Black gold’: a premium blend of soil improver and well-rotted manure

Wheelbarrows of mulch

Shifting all that compost was a bit of a daunting task, but I was soon pushing wheelbarrows heaped with organic goodness across my lawn and shovelling heaps of it onto my borders.

A wheelbarrow full of mulch
A wheelbarrow full of mulch

Mulching depth

The thickness of your mulch matters! It is better to pile 2–4 inches of mulch on a small area of soil around your plants than spread it thinly across a larger area. A thick mulch will prevent annual weeds from growing by cutting out the light.

Ideally, you should do all your weeding and plant dividing before you mulch, as the less it is disturbed the better. I’d managed the weeding part, but I fully expect to be dividing and moving various plants over the coming weeks, so it will have to put up with a bit of disturbance.

Mulch your borders
Add 2–4 inches of mulch to your borders and try to leave it undisturbed to fully reap the benefits

The end result

Within 2 days I had emptied the bag, spreading all that organic loveliness, across the borders and raised beds in my front and back gardens. In fact, I still had two borders to do when I ran out, so they will be treated to my homemade compost instead.

The borders are looking so much better for it, and I know the plants will benefit.

Border weeded and mulched
Border weeded and mulched – tick!

It turned out to be a pretty good workout too. Bonus!

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