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Choosing the right mulch for your garden - Kennedys Cranbourne Garden Supplies

Choosing the right mulch for your garden

Mulch is so important to the health of both soil and plants. It has many functions and benefits in the garden.  Deciding on the right kind of mulch for your garden depends on what types of plants you are growing and their specific needs.  The types of mulch can be broken up into three categories. These categories have differing benefits to both the soil and the garden plants.  They are called feeding mulches, woody mulches and hard mulches.

What is the best garden mulch?

Nutritional mulches such as Sugar Cane mulch and Pea Straw are best suited to shallow rooted plants feeding vegetables and flowers.  Woody mulch breaks down more slowly which is suitable for garden shrubs and trees.  Hard mulches like pebbles, scoria or gravel offer no nutritional value. They are suited to both drought tolerant plants or those with little nutritional needs.  Liquid fertiliser can be applied to plants that are hard mulched from time to time.

 

Feeding mulch

Mulches that break down quickly, promote worm and microbial activity, nourishing and conditioning the soils structure.  This type of mulch is perfect for the vegetable garden and other shallow rooted plants.  Mulches such as Lucerne hay, Pea straw and Sugar cane mulch fit into this category.

sugar cane mulch

Woody Mulch

Woody mulches come in an assortment of size and textures.  Fine woody mulches will tend to break down faster while the thicker wood chips are very slow to break down.  These mulches are recommended to be applied up to 10 cm thick to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.  Woody mulches can be used in garden beds amongst flowers, shrubs and trees where the roots grow deeper into the soil.

wood chip mulch

Hard Mulch

Hard landscaping mulch such as pebbles, scoria or gravel does not break down or feed the soil at all and is mostly decorative.  This mulch does not need to be topped up each year, therefore is low maintenance in the long term.  Hard mulches can be used in low nutritional gardens or drought tolerant gardens.

With careful consideration, choosing the right mulch for your garden can give your plants the best start, creating an enjoyable space to relax and unwind around your home.

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