Organic mulch is a great way to keep your garden hassle free and give it what it needs at the same time. Using organic mulch in your garden is not a hard or outlandish thing to do, even gardeners who do not practice organic gardening use different types of organic mulch in their gardens.
Here is a guide to the basics of using organic mulch in your gardens, including what exactly organic mulch is, why you should use it and a list of the most common and ready types of organic mulch available.
What is Organic Mulch?
Organic mulch is a layer of decomposing material that is placed over the soil in your garden beds. Organic mulch was once living material, but now it can be used in compost or in this case directly on the garden.
Why Use Organic Mulch?
Well besides the obvious reasons to use mulch, to retain moisture in the soil, eliminate weeds, and reduce erosion, organic mulch has a couple other benefits. Because organic compost will originate from your very own yard, you save money that you would have spent buying bags of mulch. Second, because organic mulch does decompose it will be adding beneficial nutrients to your soil, improving the quality.
Types of Organic Mulch You Can Use in Your Garden
There are several different types of organic mulch that you can use in your garden, but I will just include the ones that are most common and that you will find readily available around your house.
Pine needles make up some of the most effective organic mulch you can use in your garden. Ever notice how damp the area under a pine tree is, where the needles have landed? That is because the pine needles are a naturally occurring barrier of water preservation. The waxy coating on pine needles allows water to bead and slide of the needle into the soil, but that same waxy coating also prevents rapid evaporation and keeps water beneath the needle layer and in the soil.
Every time you mow your lawn you are making a fresh batch of organic mulch for your garden. Grass clippings spread over the soil about an inch thick keep moisture from escaping, prevent weeds from growing and add nitrogen to the soil as it decomposes.
Instead of adding Sundays paper to the recycling bin, shred it into strips and add a nice layer paper about three pages thick to your soil. Newspaper decomposes fast and has the potential to not stay in place so I recommend adding newspaper and then another type of organic mulch over it. Try a thin layer of newspaper with pine needles over it.
These three types of organic mulch used alone or together will keep your garden maintenance to a minimum and provide your garden with healthy soil.