July 15, 2020
Definition: An organic material that covers the soil to improve moisture retention, reduce erosion, minimize weeds, and improve soil structure.
What is mulch made of?
Mulch can be made from a variety of plant materials including straw, crop residue, leaves, grass, rice hulls, small shredded banana leaves, beanstalks, compost, or other easily decomposable organic material.
Farmers Use Mulch to Prevent Water Loss
When soil is exposed to the hot sun, microorganisms deteriorate, water quickly evaporates and soil temperatures rise. To mitigate these issues, Forest Garden farmers use mulch to maintain soil quality, conserve water, and keep soil temperatures down.
Farmers Use Mulch to Control Pesky Weeds
In addition to being used to decrease water evaporation, mulch can be used to control weeds. Forest Garden farmers will often place a layer of mulch around trees and crops after planting them. A thick layer of mulch keeps weeds from getting sunlight and will reduce the number of weeds in the Forest Garden.