What is Mulch? How to use it to be more resourceful in the garden

We all like to do our bit to help the environment. Top of the list for a lot of people is saving one of the planet's most precious resources WATER. Here’s how mulch, mulching, and mulching correctly can help save water, and also save you time in the garden weeding. Meaning you can enjoy and relax in your own green space.

Mulch example of ornamental bark mulch
Ornamental Bark Mulch

At its most basic level, a mulch is used to retain soil moisture, suppress weeds and improve soil quality and structure. It can also add a decorative and presentable quality to any size garden.

A mulch is applied directly onto bare soil or compost in pots and containers. Applications are generally done in mid to late spring and in the autumn, although can be carried out at any time around new plantings. Using in spring will aid with water retention and weed suppression. Whilst a layer in autumn can help to protect vulnerable roots against cold and freezing temperatures.

Here at Heritage, our mulches can be split into two groups, bio-degradable (will rot down) and non-biodegradable (will not rot down).

Bio-Degradable:

· Woodland mulch or woodchip mulch is a 100% British cost-effective substitute to bark. Produced from composted wood chip, perfect for decorative landscaping on a budget, made from a blend of softwood and hardwood, and composted for a minimum of six weeks. This product is perfect for all areas around the garden that are not walked on regularly, such as borders, beds, and even pots and containers. Over time this will break down leading to enhanced soil quality and structure.

· Ornamental Bark Mulch can be used the same as the woodland mulch, but can also be applied to paths. This product is 100% bio-degradable and will rot down to improve soil quality and structure.

· Our compost can also be used as an effective mulch when laid directly on the surface of the soil. Our 10mm compost is made on-site and is 100% peat-free, environmentally friendly, organic, and is sourced from Sussex. It’s also fantastic as a soil improver when mixed into existing beds, borders, and containers. When using as a mulch is recommended to add additional layers throughout the summer and autumn, as it slowly and naturally breaks down in to the soil, during the growing season.

Example of a 10mm shingle non-bio-degradable mulch

Non-Bio-Degradable:

Whilst these do not improve the fertility or structure of the soil, they do a similar job to bio-degradable mulches. Which is conserving and retaining water, and weed suppression.

We have a wide variety of products at Heritage Products from 10mm and 20mm gravel/shingle, limestone, granite and slate. The benefits of non-bio-degradable options is longevity and a wider variety of decorative designs to suit any size garden, leaving you to create your own serene beach, Mediterranean paradise, or relaxing alpine environment.

Mulching correctly and efficiently usually presents little problems to gardeners. The main problems arise from direct contact with the plants, causing stems to soften, making plants more susceptible to disease and rot. To avoid this, we recommend mulching to a depth of between 5cm-7.5cm and avoiding being too close to stems. Mulch is best laid over moist soil (you may have to water before), after weeding and when the soil is not frozen. When using around single trees and shrubs, mulch to the radius of the canopy.

Using a mulch in a garden, be it bio or non-bio can save you time in watering, thus saving water. It will also save you time weeding and can take your garden from the mundane to the beautiful and fantastic.

Our full range of products can be found on our website, where you can order in various sizes or even delivered loose.

For further information on mulches please go to https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=323.

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