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What Makes a Good Mulch?

Until a few years ago most gardeners had no idea what ‘mulch’ was and it was due to the sudden interest in gardening shows on TV that introduced the word to many people. Mulch is top layer of any organic substance that is spread over the soil around plants and flowers and is primarily to conserve moisture. It can also help with the ground fertility and soil health as well as keeping weed growth to a basic minimum and look pretty too. It has the aesthetic pleasantness that makes the garden look well-tended and landscaped.

What can Mulch be Made From?

The answer that is pretty much anything organic. You can use grass clippings, hay, leaves, straw, newspaper, woods chippings, cardboard, wool, bark chippings and sawdust, among many others. Some prefer egg shells or manure, while others prefer something that can be landscaped with the garden and made to look decorative, as well as functional. Other types of mulch ca be made using recycled rubber from bike and car tires, and you can also use rock or gravel as long as it allows the soil beneath to breath.

Does Plastic work?

Despite most plastic not being organic it dose serve as good mulch in many settings. Oftentimes a gardener will use a black plastic garbage sack to line a plant bed, but put slits in it for the plants to grow through. This can act as a mulch in the same way as bark chippings. However, environmentalists are claiming, with reason, that plastic mulch is problematic when it comes to the disposal of it.

Woods chippings are often used because not only can be they free, simply because they are a byproduct of home DIY projects, but also they are completely organic, safe and protective toward plant life. Bark chippings are the same and they also have a very natural blanket effect on plants, sort of similar to a like attracting like scenario. Straw is a commonly used substance, also, but it is prone to the wind and may blow away rather than stay put in place. A good mulch in San Diego CA might look better as wood chippings, where as in San Francisco it might be better to use straw.

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