The Importance of Mulches

Watering is becoming a bigger daily task now the weather is warming up and my attention has turned to mulches. There are various schools of thought about mulches. In wet weather they can increase pest problems but since we have had a lot of unusually dry weather and the evaporation rates have been extreme recently I decided to mulch the onion sets lightly with what we had to hand – dead montbretia leaves (they are a bit like straw). Grass clippings will also come in handy throughout the season. These mulches will also keep weeds down. If it gets wet here I will lift the much up again to ensure the onions don’t rot.

Loose mulch that onion sets can sprout up through.
Loose mulch that onion sets can sprout up through.

In the forest garden I have already been layering up biomass to make ‘lasagna’ beds and throughout the year I will continue to add nutrients to the soil there and on the vegetable beds and in the polytunnel through a variety of methods – organic mulches, chop and drop and green manures.

Mulches are essential to taking care of plant life and the soil in a permaculture garden as we move into spring.

Speaking of spring – the garden is springing into life and the place is really beginning to brighten up. It is lovely to see new colours emerging as the seasons change.

Spring colour.
Spring colour.

4 thoughts on “The Importance of Mulches

  1. Looking good. Have you found mulching increases slug problems? We used to chop and drop all or weeds and plant residue but found slugs to be a problem so now I compost as much as possible and then use that as a top dressing for the beds. We will see hoe it works out this year. Keep up the good work.


    1. I have yet to find out! We have been rather lucky so far (touch wood) and don’t seem to have a huge problem here with slugs and snails but I will stick with the plan and let everyone know how it works out. 🙂


      1. We are down in Cornwall and we have had a succession of mild winters so the slugs have not been killed off by the cold. It is a constant battle but there is usually enough growing to go round. We also have a pigeon problem and they are getting nice and fat on out purple sprouting broccoli. You know what they say “If life gives you Pigeons, make Pigeon pie” 😉

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