Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mulching the Flower Garden

This month I have decided to focus on my front garden's watering needs and invested in a forest mulch to help reduce watering costs and to reduce weeds. My front garden is made up of bushes, roses, bulbs, ground covers and other flowering plants.

The best way to care for your garden is to ensure that it not only has good drainage but is also able to store enough moisture in the soil around the roots especially during the warmer months of the year.

Leaving your soil exposed to direct sunlight will cause considerable evaporation. And that is never good news for your plants during summer.

Adding mulch to any garden is like saying 'I Love You' to your plants.

What One Cubic Meter (m3) looks like.

I ordered one cubic meter (m3) which is a front-end-loader's scoop full (mounded trailer sized amount).  This surprisingly turned out to be a very generous amount and I was able to cover more that what I had expected, even with ensuring that the mulch was applied as thickly as recommended.

My order (including delivery) cost only $75.
If my car could have taken a free lone trailer I could have saved $25.

Keep your eyes open for Spring specials at your local garden soil suppliers. Spring is the best time to buy your mulch to save money.

Mulching Tips
  1. Water your plants well. Add a wetting agent if needed.
  2. Remove weeds.
  3. Dig in any compost to enhance the soil, if required.
  4. Clean up any dead leaf matter from native Australian trees (eucalyptus, paper bark, wattles, etc.), as they can slowly poison your plants like a toxic cup of tea.
  5. Dig up bulbs (at the end of Spring or early summer) to thin out or store, if appropriate.
  6. Apply your mulch thickly as it will reduce with time.
  7. Do not allow the mulch to come in direct contact with the base of the plants. Your plants need oxygen circulation.

Mulch Options

Don't be confused by all the different types of mulches on offer.  Some just "add nutrients" or contain added Blood and Bone.

I'm a firm believer that you don't need to buy anything "added" as your plants have individual nutrient needs.

Your native plants will have different nutrient needs compared to an acid loving Camilla or Protea. And those types of plants will need different care than any water-loving European introduced species.

The only exception would be a succulent/cacti themed garden, which would ideally benefit from pebbles.

A standard mulch (usually called a Forest Mulch) is ideal in most gardens.

Happy mulching!


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