The padding for the garden, also called mulch or mulch, is very important because in all organic gardens we seek to make the most of the potential that nature offers us to improve our land and, therefore, improve production.
There are many types of padding that we can differentiate between synthetics, such as black plastic (I don’t like this type of padding but I understand that at a productive level it can be interesting) and natural or biodegradable padding , which are precisely the ones we are going to focus on in this article.
ADVANTAGES OF PADDING OR MULCHING IN THE ORCHARD
Placing mulch in the garden with organic materials has no disadvantages and many advantages. It is essential in every garden and not only because it can help us reduce risk, thus taking care of a very precious good like water, but also helps us to protect the bare Earth, imitating nature. As in the forests, where the ground is always covered with a layer of plant protection.
In addition, in autumn and winter, it helps us to keep the temperature from the ground a little higher. In this way, it allows the roots to continue to develop better. Even in areas where there is a risk of frost and snow, the mulch will protect the land and our crops will continue to grow.
prevent them from being born weed plants, which compete for resources and nutrients with our crops. With this system we can reduce the so-called “weeds” by 80 or even 90%, which will save us a lot of work and headaches.
The advantage of using biodegradable mulches is that they are materials that gradually disintegrate, incorporating additional organic matter into our garden. Therefore, they will create a good layer of compost on the surface, improve the structure of our land and promoting the development of beneficial bacteria for our crops.
As we decompose, we obviously provide nutrients to our land, so we are soil nutrition and microbiology who inhabits it. It does not seem like much, but thanks to this we will have better harvests and we will have to pay less for our terraces.
Hard, fully compacted clay soils make them more difficult to work. If, on the other hand, we have sandy soils, which we can achieve through mulching in the orchard, not only will it be easier to work with, but also to improve the nutrient retention and irrigation.
An essential use of mulch for the orchard, and more so in spring and summer, is for protect the ground from solar radiation. Thanks to this layer, we avoid inert and lifeless soils, because exposure to the sun kills them. If we cultivate ecologically and biologically, the soil must be our priority. In addition, we prevent the soil from overheating and prevent the crops from suffering in their development.
No less important is that through mulching in the orchard we help to increase biodiversity and prevent nutrient erosion and leaching of the soil following rains and strong winds, keeping the structure and the life of the soil intact.
BIODEGRADABLE OR NATURAL PADDING FOR THE GARDEN
It is interesting to always try to quilt with the material that we have on hand, without having to buy anything for it. With this idea I leave you a list of materials that we can use for padding in the garden.
It is the padding par excellence, although it is true that it is not something that we have on hand, it is easy to obtain it at a good price. Breaking down orchard mulch into straw allows mycelium to grow and provides cellulose, which in turn provides carbon. Although we may have the problem that it germinates if it contains a lot of grains.
PADDING OF CLIPPING REMNANTS
Taking advantage when mowing a meadow or garden to use the material as mulch for the garden is a great idea. Of course, you should try to avoid mowing the lawn when the seeds are out, so that they do not grow in the garden. We will let them dry for a few days in the sun and they should not exceed 30 or 40 cm in height.
PADDING OF CROP REMNANTS OR STUBBLE
When we remove a crop from the garden, we can always add it to the compost, and if we have a shredder or mower, these culms such as stems and leaves can be used as mulch, torturing them for better decomposition and handling. Is there anything more beautiful than giving back to the earth what it has given us?
PADDING OF RIVER RODS
One can also use river canes, as plentiful as bamboo or corn canes themselves. As a mulch for the garden, it is an easy material to obtain, and crushed will help us a lot. In addition, we have the advantage that it will last us longer than leftover mowing or straw. In some areas we can also get aquatic plants like cattails, Typhaceae, and use them both green and dry chopped.
Even feather dusters or pampas grass. Of course, avoiding cutting them when they have removed the “pen” and the glitches. It is a plant that grows very quickly and will give us a lot of green contribution to quilting, but we must be careful because it is a very invasive plant.
If we have access to large quantities of newspaper We can also use them for quilting. Even the used paper (some companies have paper shredders that will leave paper in strips and be used to pad decks).
As for newspapers, we won’t have a problem because the inks no longer contain lead as they used to. It is important to avoid paper, catalogs or advertising leaflets, as these may contain heavy metals and be toxic.
CARDBOARD ORCHARD PADDING
Cardboard is an excellent ally for quilting, given that we can often obtain it easily in many places. The ideal is that we remove any external elements that it has, such as staples or remnants of cellophane. I mostly use them in the hallways, to keep the weeds out.
We can also use it on terraces that we are going to have idle, for the same purpose. In this case it would not be necessary to crush it and if we are going to plant we can make a hole where we are going to put the plant.
Although it is not the most suitable, it can be used as padding. For this, it is better to use untreated sawdust and the first year we can use it in the hallways, until it starts to break down, get dark, then we can put it as padding on our patios.
We do this to avoid nitrogen deficiencies in crops. We will not use plywood or glued wood.
TREE LEAF PADDING
In principle, all the leaves of the trees can be used. The ideal time to harvest them will be in the fall, but eucalyptus leaves should always be avoided as they inhibit the development of soil microorganisms. It would be a disaster for the microscopic life of the garden and the development of the plants.
There are other types of leaves to be careful with. For example, although we can make mulch with pine needles, pine needles could be used, although care should be taken as they acidify the soil pH. It would be good for certain vegetable crops such as forest fruits (strawberries, raspberries, etc.).
We can use chestnut, walnut, holm oak and oak leaves, but to use them it is ideal to mix them with other types of leaves and not use them alone.
Even so, I don’t usually sew with leaves, preferring to leave them in the forest, forming soil and life, and using other types of quilts. Although if you have access to the leaves that are collected in cities and parks, it will be great.
PADDING OF PRUNING REMNANTS
Padding or mulch can also consist of both hedges and fruit trees or pruned branches. This is definitely the option I choose, due to the ease with which I can obtain pruning branches, such as fallen branches in the forest where I have my orchard.
We will use relatively young branches, no more than 2 years old, because they are a little less lignified and still contain a good balance between the components: lignins, proteins, sugars and cellulose.
Silent electric shredder IKRA 81002880 ILH 3000 A,…
- High-performance motor with 3000 watts of power, extraordinary shredding performance, for branches and other garden debris with a diameter of up to 44 mm
- High performance: Patented 3-stage planetary gear, silent, robust and low-maintenance, automatic reverse in case of jamming, automatic branch retraction
- Thanks to its wheels and the carrying handle, the chipper is easy to move and place
- With a large, stable container (volume 60 litres), integrated storage compartment
- With clamp, compact storage and “space saving” thanks to the folding function
With a shredder It will be easy for us to be able to quilt the whole bed in a few minutes. We can accumulate branches throughout the year. They will definitely last us a long time as a mulch, and we won’t need to add more layers during the growing season.
Other types of mulch for the garden could be pine bark, The coffee grounds for plants, bird feathers and sheep’s wool.
WHAT THICKNESS OF PADDING TO USE
Although there is no standard measurement for the thickness of the padding, it is important that it covers the entire bed with a thickness of at least one or two centimeters. Depending on the stuffing we use (it would be difficult to cover 2 cm with newspaper) and the time of year, the ideal would be a minimum of 5 cm.
In the aisles we can put a thickness of two boxes and it will last us a few months.
I hope the article will help you choose the perfect garden mulch and the benefits have become clear to you. My advice is that you try to mulch the garden cheaply, so everything makes a lot more sense.
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