Have you been looking for a way to mulch your garden, but not wanting to spend the money? If so, this article is for you. We will discuss how you can use free wood chips as a form of mulch for your garden and save yourself some money!
What is Mulching?
Mulching is simply using materials such as straw or wood chips in order to keep weeds from growing in between plants. For example, if there are any small patches of bare dirt between plants that would be prime real estate for weed seeds, they’ll have a harder time sprouting up when they’re surrounded by a thick layer of mulch.
Make Mulch Yourself
Mulch consists mainly of organic materials – which means that you can easily make the useful bed cover yourself. Garden waste such as hedge or lawn clippings are suitable mulch material, in autumn you can also use leaves and straw. Lawn clippings should only be used as mulch in small quantities, as they can negatively affect the aeration of the soil and attract voles. Compost also acts as a fertilizer when used as mulch. Shredded wood scraps or chopped straws are also suitable, as fruit trees and berry bushes, in particular, like to be warmed by these materials. If you have a lot of wood waste available in your garden, for example from tree pruning, you can shred it in a wood chipper. Note, however, that the wood chips bind a lot of nitrogen and can cause a deficiency in the soil. If there are too many slugs in your bed, mulch made from reeds will help. Shredded herbaceous plants are also useful for keeping pests at bay.
Wood chipper for small farms will help in the processing of branches into wood chips that can be used in the vegetable garden. Wood chips work great for mulching flower beds because they offer an attractive look while keeping weeds at bay. Wood Chips can also be used in the vegetable garden where it help retain soil moisture and control weed growth throughout the season, come fall, wood chips make a nice top dressing on your compost pile or you can leave them until spring when chopped into smaller pieces with a rotary mower before applying as bedding under new plants.
How to Mulch Correctly
Mulch can be an important part of your garden, but you need to make sure that it is applied correctly. If you aren’t applying the mulch properly then you might end up causing more harm than good.
Before you apply the mulch to your beds, the soil must be properly prepared. If necessary, remove weeds and loosen the soil with a spade. Then you can start spreading the mulch. Make sure that you apply the material around the plants, but keep a few centimeters away from the stem or trunk. If the plants do not get enough air there, rot can form. When spreading, the height of the mulch layer is also crucial: the soil should be completely covered, but if the layer is too dense, the soil cannot breathe. A layer about 2 to 4 inches high is considered ideal. If in doubt, spread too little mulch rather than too much, you can always thicken the layer later. This should lie loosely and not be worked into the soil.
It is best to keep the soil covered all year round. There is no right or wrong time to mulch. In winter, the straw or leaf mixture provides protection from frost; in summer, it provides rich nutrients for your plants. For beds where you have freshly sown, wait with mulching for the time being. With seedlings from about 4 inches, you can cover the soil up to the leaf base without hesitation.