Organic Mulch Vs. Inorganic Mulch

Homeowners who engage in gardening can keep plants healthy through mulching. However, it’s best not to wait for summer to get started.

Mulching protects and improves the soil. Also, it reduces moisture loss, preventing the soil surface from drying out and cracking. Mulching is also efficient at suppressing weed growth and reducing competition for nutrients and water. Most importantly, mulching minimises run-off and soil movement from garden beds.

Organic Mulch

Mulches derived from organic materials like wood chips, straws and pine barks are considered organic. Recycled green waste can also be used.

The lifespan of a chip or bark mulch will greatly depend on the size of the particles. Those with smaller particles will break down immediately, putting nutrients back into the soil in just a short period of time. Those with larger particles, on the other hand, will take several years to break down.

When buying organic mulch, make sure to find out where it came from and the possible damage it may cause once you remove it from the environment. Pine barks are considered more sustainable than those derived from hardwoods like red gum chips.

When creating mulch on site is not possible, opt for recycled mulch. This is derived from the materials that end up into the green waste bins. These materials are then processed by a composting system that will destroy any weed seeds that the material has. The end product is a mulch with excellent weed-suppressing, soil-improving, and water-holding capabilities, making it very ideal for all garden styles.

Inorganic Mulch

The use of inorganic mulch is increasing. An inorganic mulch is derived from recycled glass, rubber, and stone. It is available in different sizes, colours and styles. It is well-suited to contemporary garden designs since it is a decorative mulch. It is the best choice for bushfire zones since it does not burn.

Be cautious, however, in using inorganic mulches because if you are not satisfied with your choice, you might end up forever picking out the light-coloured pebbles or glass that seemed like a great idea at the time.

How to Mulch

  1. Remove weeds
  2. Thoroughly moisten the soil by making sure that the water penetrates well.
  3. If you choose to use bark-based mulches, sprinkle some blood and bone over the soil. This will provide extra nitrogen because the gradual decomposition of the mulch might take up nitrogen.
  4. Lay the mulch thickly. The area around the plants must be free of mulch.
  5. To ensure that water does not run off the surface, sprinkle soil-wetting agents.

Selecting the right type of mulch will greatly depend on which will best suit your garden needs. Looking into the specific characteristics of each mulch type is a must.

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