Theremulchit is an operation that consists of covering the soil with a layer of material in order to prevent the growth of weeds, keep the soil moist, protect it from erosion, from the action of rain and avoid the so-called formation of superficial crust.
Only from the premise can it be understood that themulchit is a highly recommended practice in agriculture and gardening because of its manyadvantages.
What are the advantages related to the practice ofmulch?
Advantage # 1 Saving time, energy and water
First of all we tell you that it will save you time and energy. Theremulch, in addition to preventing the development of so-calledweeds (and therefore the saving of hours of work for cleaning the garden), brings many others advantagessuch as, for example, water saving for irrigation as the materials with which themulchthey create a kind ofplugwhich slows the evaporation of water from the ground keeping the soil constantly moist.
Advantage # 2 It improves the soil structure
Thanks tomulchthe soil is protected from erosion and compaction caused by the action of rain and irrigation itself. In the long run, the general structure of the soil improves, thus facilitating the preparation of the flower beds for subsequent crops.
Benefit # 3 Early plant growth
Betweenbenefits of mulchingwe cannot omit the greater precocity of the crops: the rooting becomes more dense than in non-mulched flower beds with more dense roots, growth is also better.
Benefit # 3 warms the ground
Theremulchprotects the roots of plants from the cold: among the materials used for mulching there are some that are able to "heat" or act as thermal insulator. Excellent trick for late or early crops. In the article dedicated toMulchwe have reported i mulch materials which have the ability to heat the soil.
Advantage # 4 protects the fruit
In some specific cases, mulching protects the crop. Just think of strawberries which, coming into direct contact with the ground, are easier to rot while thanks to the mulch layer they run no risk.
Which crops can be mulched?
There are numerous crops that can be mulched easily: endive, curly bark, eggplant, pepper, tomato, radicchio from head, celery, courgette, strawberry ... In general, mulching is easy to implement for all those varieties that require planting seedlings with some earthen bread. Mulching is more difficult for crops that are sown directly in the ground.
What materials to choose for mulching?
Different materials can be chosen for mulching. The choice can be made according to the climatic needs (for example, in windy locations it is better to avoid straw or foliage!) And the needs of the cultivation (for example, choosing a heating material or not).
On the market there are perforated or unperforated sheets in polypropylene (not biodegradable), unperforated sheets in corn starch (biodegradable) and other materials. In general we can say that non-biodegradable materials can be reused for multiple crops. For further information, please refer to the article: Mulch, which materials to choose?
A short list of some of the materials used for the mulching the soil:
- cocoa husks
- polypropylene sheets
- corn starch sheets
- Dry leaves
- newspaper papers
- cut grass
- chopped pine bark
- other barks
- mulch (grass cut and dried in more compact structures)
- plastic or bioplastic films of various kinds
- non-woven fabric
- bales of jute
- hemp fiber
For those on the hunt for disadvantages, we can say that the only oneconditionthat dictates the mulch is the adoption of the drip irrigation system, even if this is not always necessary: with the mulch suitable, it is also possible to use the traditional irrigation method.