February 8th, 2010
I do believe that the very best mulch of all is lucerne, which I discovered a few years back while creating my ‘no dig’ vege garden. Lucerne fixes essential nitrogen in the soil. Now that I have ducks I have super enriched lucerne that the ducks prepare for me. Super! Of course, coming up very soon, in the Autumn there are the leaves and might I say raking them up is an Autumn Job that I love! I do not own a leaf blower! No, no no! Apart from the exercise, raking them is just so much better, you can use them as they are; put them into plastic bags for later or add them to your compost.
But the autumn leaves are not around yet we have to wait for them. In garden centres there are heaps of different mulches you can use, rice husks are good and I have used the sugar cane stuff too. But wandering about in Bunnings the other day I came across an excellent coir mulch in a small, easy to carry to the car, easy to store little block. It looks a bit like a brick. I had to investigate! When you want to use it you dunk it into a tub of water and leave it to do its stuff. It increases at least five fold! Super! So you are left with a lovely mulch that is damp to pop over your garden bed. This is wonderful in summer as you can use it on the days you water – pop a brick in to soak; go away to do your good soaking then top it off with some damp mulch. What could be better?
Last year we had a limb come down from a tall gum tree and when the lovely tree man came to fix it for me he asked if I would like it mulched. Lovely! Luckly, I had read that if you are using wood chips as mulch in the garden you should leave it sit for 6 to 8 weeks, because it took me that long, working every weekend to spread it all over my front garden beds. I knew also that I would need to add in some fertiliser before putting on the mulch, as wood chips drain the soil of nitrogen while the wood chips break down. So, I weeded, fed, watered and then spread the mulch. It has been very effective at suppressing the weeds. Wonderful! I think it true to say there is nothing like mulching around!