To mulch or not to mulch

When creating a garden bed, it’s important to remember to apply mulch.

This will help your garden bed in three ways:

1) It will be more aesthetically pleasing

2) it will help to conserve water from evaporation

3) it will suppress weeds from coming up in amongst your plants

The big decision is - what kind of mulch to apply to your garden bed that will complement the planting palette. There are several options.

You might go for natural mulch such as soft-fall mulch, pine bark, eucalyptus and so forth. Another option is to go for more processed one like red, brown or black dyed wood chips. Keep in mind that the colour dyed woodchips are short-term colour solutions and the colour will fade with the UV and it will gradually wash off in the rain as well.

My favourite type of mulching is planting groundcovers. Groundcovers act as a moisturising barrier preventing evaporation and enable greater softening to the garden beds.

There is also of an option for large scale projects to use green mulch (freshly chipped). This is an economical option when doing a large scale project. However, due to the fact that this mulch is still alive and needs to go through the natural decomposition stage (3 to 6 months), and needs to be regularly turned to enable the fibers to break down, otherwise it will suck nitrogen out of your soil. You should only use green mulch straight away on the same sort of plants as the mulch eg if trimming lilly pillies it is ok to chip the branches back into the garden bed where the lilly pillies are growing.

When mulching, it’s important to be generous, and allow at least 100mm to even 150mm of mulch, all depending on the size of the plants. It’s also important to remember that mulch does breakdown overtime so every second or third year you should be checking the level of mulch that you’ve got and you should be top dressing (to add more mulch) to make sure that you always have that 100mm.

Another option is granitic sand or crush dust as well as loose stones or pebbles.

If you need help with your garden project don’t hesitate to call me today!


Qualified Horticulturist and Landscape Designer

The Cutting Hedge Landscaping and Garden Design

0400 740 140

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