Explore the options when it comes to choosing mulch material for your site. Learn how to store, apply, and maintain mulch for maximum effectiveness on your garden beds. Discover the different types of living mulches, and the different materials suitable as mulch for a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
In this course you’ll gain a thorough understanding of exactly what mulch does and how it benefits your soil and plants. You will also be guided through the process of choosing the right mulch for your garden beds.
Mulch provides a multitude of positive influences on your site. We’ll go through them and explain what’s happening under that layer of organic material to enable your plants to grow stronger and, in time, for you to harvest more yield from your property.
Some of the benefits of organic mulch that we will explore include:
• The suppression of weeds
• The addition of soil nutrients
• The prevention of soil pathogens
• The retention of moisture
• The prevention of soil erosion
• The improvement of soil structure
• The modification of soil temperature
• The promotion of microorganism activity
• The protection of seeds
We’ll also look at how mulch can be the perfect medicine when it comes to rehabilitating damaged and degraded land, and how it differs from –but can be used in combination with – organic compost.
Having completed this course, you’ll be able to analyze the factors that will influence the choice of mulch material, such as local climate conditions, the individual make-up of the soil on your property, and the types of plants you wish to grow in your garden beds. You’ll also appreciate the unique characteristics that a variety of different organic mulches have.
We will take you through a whole range of different options for mulch material, explaining what each one delivers to the soil and the plants growing in it.
From fallen leaves, seaweed, peat and grass clippings through cardboard, newspaper, straw pine needles, and even coconut husks, you’ll get the lowdown on many different possibilities, and how to source them so that you don’t inadvertently import any unwanted chemicals onto your property. Want to know why cocoa husks aren’t suitable for your garden if your have a dog, or why wood chip mulches need to be relatively thin in order to protect your plants? This course gives you the answers.
You’ll also have the relevant knowledge to be able to recognize when circumstances might be right to make judicious use of inorganic mulches. The course also includes information that will enable you to spot common mulch problems – from the development of fungi to an offensive aroma – then deal with them!
Not only that, you will also discover a simple technique for combining several different organic mulch materials into an effective and energy-efficient layered mulch that supports plant growth without the need for the gardener to dig the garden bed.
Furthermore, the course contains comprehensive instructions on applying mulch so that it works at its most effective, depending on the season, the stage of the cultivation cycle, and climate factors. As well as hints and tips on preparing your garden beds for the application of mulch, you’ll learn how to add mulch around trees to avoid damaging them and inhibiting their growth, as well discover the optimal depths of organic mulch to use for both seedlings and mature plants.
Not all mulches are comprised of small individual elements that are layered over the soil – some mulches are alive! This course also contains comprehensive information on living mulches – crops that are grown especially because they generate many of the benefits of more traditional mulch while they are growing in the soil. You’ll also learn how living mulches can do double duty when you cut them back to prepare you bed for planting.
There is an overview of common mulching techniques and materials for various types of crops, from vegetables and fruits to herbs, and the course also contains valuable information on mulching techniques for container gardening, so even those with relatively little space can still take advantage of the magic of mulch.