Segment 1 of S5E14 Mulching- The Gardening with Joey and Holly Radio show

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Manage episode 294420645 series 1404544
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In segment one Joey and Holly talk about Mulching the good and the bad
What does mulch do ?
Organic mulches also improve the condition of the soil. As these mulches slowly decompose, they provide organic matter which helps keep the soil loose. This improves root growth, increases the infiltration of water, and also improves the water-holding capacity of the soil.
Natural mulch
Grass clipping
Leaves
Shredded paper
Straw
Pine needles
Bark & Wood Chips
Black Plastic
If you abhor weeds, one layer of black plastic will help with weed management. Over time the plastic will be broken down by sunlight and must be replaced. It will increase the soil temperature and this should be monitored so that plant roots are not damaged. Often, an organic mulch is applied on top of black plastic to absorb sunlight and prevent overheating of the soil.
Landscape Fabric
Like black plastic, landscape fabric slows weed growth. This product is great under stones and gravel as it will keep rocks from sinking into the soil. It also makes removal of rocks and gravel easier if you decide to change up your landscaping plans. Landscape fabric makes weeding very difficult and is not recommended under organic mulches. It is better to let organic mulches decompose and mix into the soil.
DISADVANTAGES
Because mulch blocks sunlight, it prevents some seeds from germinating. This is good for keeping weeds away from the beds, but not for your good seeds. You can prevent this problem waiting until plants green up before mulching.
Slugs, earwigs, cutworms, and other pests love cool, dark, moist places. To minimize plant-threatening insects, use a thin layer of mulch (about 3 inches), keeping it several inches away from plant bases.
Heavy rains can make the ground soggy for several days. If beds turn into wet, muddy areas, take off the mulch and let the soil dry.
ADVANTAGES
Mulch reduces sun heat damage.
It suppresses weed growth.
Retain moisture. During summer, the soil stays cooler and plant roots don’t stress from the heat.
Reduce soil erosion. Raindrops don’t hit the surface of the ground directly. Also, soil is less likely to splash onto plants, which keeps them cleaner.
Some mulches can insulate crops from extreme temperatures.
Organic mulches provide soil nutrients and encourage beneficial soil organisms and worm activity.
Mulch saves you time, money and, most importantly, water as it slows evaporations, so you don’t have to water as much.
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