Mulch Ado About Nothing (or Chicken Soup for the Soil)*
Restore vibrancy to your soil with some life-giving mulch! A healthy layer of mulch is probably the best favour you can do for your soil this Spring- and definitely the cheapest. Readily available from our shop or easy to prepare at home (provided you know your garden and its soil type there’s no excuse not to get the most out your garden in 2016 with some mulch!
February is the perfect time to consider your garden’s needs for the coming year, and though it may not feel like it, now is the time to think of the summer that’s just around the corner, and prepare our allotments and gardens for the warmer, drying months that will pose challenges of their own. All this because, for our plants at least, the rain of the last couple of months may soon be missed. Unfortunately our climate limits how many projects we can undertake for another month or so, but if you want to take a positive step now toward a better garden this year, consider preparing and laying out some late-winter mulch to seal up your soil through the dry summer. Now, spring mulching is sometimes a contentious issue. There are those who feel mulch is best used to insulate your soil against the winter cold, and should be laid out in the autumn to warm the soil. Mulch decomposes, which leaks nutrients into your soil and can even generate a tiny amount of heat- which is just what your trees and perennials are after through the winter. However it’s been suggested that mulching in spring can act to seal entire beds, too, this time against moisture loss. A long dry summer (now replete with increasingly common hosepipe bans) can ruin your soil and turn your beautiful beds into dehydrated deserts! A healthy couple of inches of mulch now can trap in that moisture (one thing we have plenty of) and stops a hot summer from crisping your plants. Not only this, but of course mulching will the preserve the fertility of your topsoil, and even tops it up, just as it does in winter. So if your soil is prone to letting your plants down for nutrients, or if you remember last summers’ dusty dryness, top up a 5cm layer of mulch over your entire bed and feel sure that some of the winter rain we’ve enjoyed so much of recently, won’t up and disappear as soon as we hit the hot months.
*Apologies for the puns, we’re sow sow sorry!