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MULCH- Good News for You and the Soil

October 7, 2013

MULCH- what a descriptive word for an excellent method that keeps your garden healthy and your plants thriving. Mulching is an easy cost-effective way to recycle green waste, hydrate your garden beds and soil and increase the population of  soil food web inhabitants .

Mulching mimics what happens to plant materials that fall onto a forest floor. Leaves and other plant debris are decomposed by the soil organisms, including the mighty FBI- fungi, bacteria and invertebrates.  Adding a layer of mulch to your garden, about 4″ high, keeps these critters on site; improving your soil with their presence and activities.

When you mulch, you are stacking functions, a concept found in Permaculture. Mulching not only increases the fertility and moisture content of  your soil, it also alleviates weeds, so you don’t have to pull the weeds out yourself or use toxic herbicides.

What can you use for mulch? Pretty much anything!  Cardboard, bark, straw, newspaper and finished compost can be reincarnated as mulch, that eventually after the decomposers are through with it, will become soil.  Sheet mulching is a fun, no-till way to get your soil ready for planting.

To learn more about mulch we visited the LifeScape Garden, a beautiful organic garden located on the grounds of Santa Barbara City College. There, we met Dr. Mike Gonella, mulch man extraordinaire who showed us how to use this fun, easy and aromatic method of gardening.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2013 2:08 am

    Reblogged this on Bloom- Sustainable World Radio and commented:
    Mulch Magic. Our friend and teacher Dr. Mike Gonella demonstrates the art of mulching.

  2. October 7, 2013 4:47 am

    Many thanks for this great post and video! I think your readers will also be interested in this amazing gardener in SE France who creates mounds ontop of buried rotting wood and uses a mulch layer of at least 20cm. He composts directly under the mulch layer so the great decomposition party is happening right where the plants are! In this video (subs in English) he explains how he uses pine needles as mulch to make “a banquet for the worms and microbes”! He has the most amazing garden and vegetables that I have ever seen! Enjoy!

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