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In our permaculture garden, we are adopting natural, eco-friendly techniques to help our plants thrive. Vegetables and shrubs need well-hydrated, nutrient-rich soil, but bare soil can get damaged by a number of factors, such as persistent weeds, direct sunlight and drying winds. Organic mulch made from wood chips is a great solution, safe for the environment and easy to make at home.
But how do you go about making it?
Mulch is a thick layer of material placed over the soil and around plants. This extra layer of protection will suppress weeds and lock-in moisture, whilst reducing erosion from the natural elements. Organic mulches also contain natural nutrients, which plants will benefit from, and while they’re breaking down they attract beetles, worms and other soil invertebrates, which provides food for birds.
What’s more, making your own mulch from wood chips is a great way to use up discarded branches, fallen trees and other pieces of wooden material that has fallen in and around the garden. Although it may seem like a big job to begin with, applying mulch can save time in the long run by reducing time spent weeding, watering, fertilising, and controlling pests. Use wood chip mulch in the vegetable garden, around spring bulbs, under fruit trees as an attractive top dressing.
Making wood chip mulch takes just a couple of hours, here’s how:
Tip: Beneficial times to mulch are spring and autumn, topping up in-between if needed
Creating organic mulch from materials in your garden, as opposed to buying inorganic mulch, will create a healthier ecosystem that is more beneficial for your garden. Some types of inorganic mulch can disintegrate into the soil, heat up the planting area and potentially leak harmful chemicals into the soil.
Our vegetables are thriving and have really benefited from the wood chip mulch we applied in the Spring. This season, our guests will enjoy carrots, potatoes, nuts and preserved fruits, all grown in our permaculture garden.
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