What is Mulch?
When your local tree contractor disposes of tree branches and prunings they do this by processing them through a woodchipper. This results in a coarse, additive free, green mulch suitable for garden beds and paths.
Benefits of using Mulch
- Low cost.
- Helps retain moisture in your soil.
- Suppresses weed growth.
- Helps protect soil organism and plant roots from heat & cold.
- Encourages earthworm activity and development.
- Coarse enough to allow easy water penetration.
- Heavy enough to stand strong winds.
- Locally produced, totally organic product.
- Free of artificial colouring agents. (many black mulches are coloured).
- Will slowly decompose and enrich your topsoil.
Using green mulch may consume a small amount of nitrogen out of your soil in the decomposition process. In my experience native plants don’t seem to be affected by the use of green tree mulch. However I do suggest that a small quantity of nitrogenous material such as aged or processed chicken manure, dynamic lifter or blood and bone be placed around the base of heavy feeding plants (e.g. citrus, roses, etc.).
How Much Do You Need?
I recommend a minimum coverage of 3 inches which means approximately 1 cubic yard will cover an area of 10 square yards – but allowing for a coverage of 8 square yards will ensure you don’t run short.
When to Mulch?
The best time to lay down mulch is during fall. This allows it to begin composting over the winter while also blanketing the soil and keeping it warmer than the surrounding earth.