Community News

Protect your garden from drought

Spring has come early this year and the heat is well and truly here.

There is the possibility of a long hot and dry summer ahead, so now is the time to give your gardens a good mulch. Mulching is important for a variety of reasons. Firstly mulching conserves moisture by reducing the amount of water you need to apply to your garden. Mulching also improves drainage and encourages worms and other beneficial micro bacteria flora and fauna.

On a hot day around 73% of water can be evaporated from soil if you don’t have a protective layer on top.

Mulch not only conserves water, it also helps to add nutrients and organic matter to the soil as it breaks down. This is particularly important where the soil is lacking in nutrients, such as heavy clay or sandy soils. Another function of mulch is weed suppression, meaning less back breaking work for you.

There are many different types of mulch available and all have different uses. Woody mulches like bark, chips, hardwood chips or t-tree mulch are best used around trees and shrubs.

Finer mulches like sugarcane mulch, straw and hay are best around your vegetable garden as they break down faster. This helps to build the soil in your veggie garden and improves drainage. These type of mulches are also the easiest for worms to eat.

When mulching your garden it is important to remember not to put the mulch against the trunk of the plant as this may result in collar rot.

A good idea is to feed your plants before you mulch and then place the mulch over the top. By doing this the nutrients are locked underneath the mulch. Before applying mulch ensure that your soil is damp. Early in the morning is the most beneficial time to water your garden.

For more detailed advice and for all your mulching requirements come in and see Melita and Dean at Absolutely Fabulous Garden Centre. 111 Jubilee St Townsend. We are here 7 days a week to help, happy gardening.