The soil is an environment much like the ocean, a vast network of organisms operating together in complex energy cycles and food chains. Put simply the plants rely on a vast network of organisms to package the nutrients in a form that the plant is able to uptake. These organisms in turn rely on the organic matter, air, water and a stable temperature to break down the organic matter and provide it to the plant.
Mulch is essential for this natural process for many reasons. It is scientifically proven that soil that has been mulched is protected against water erosion because it absorbs the impact of the rain drop and allows the soil to absorb a far greater percentage of water into the soil to a much greater depth. The mulch also retains the soils moisture protecting the soil from evaporation and the hard baking rays of the sun.
Good mulch is also a soil conditioner because it provides a good balance of nutrients and stable pH allowing the organisms (Worms,Mychorrizal Fungi, etc.) to break down the mulch into humus or humic acid (natures combination, water crystals with slow release fertilizer). The movement of these organisms through the soil allows air down into the soil and so on.
Now it is so hot and dry in the prime growing season, it is even more important because it acts as a protective blanket keeping the soil cool and helping retain what water they get. Mulch is also important because it stops the light reaching weed seeds preventing them from germinating.
So now you know what all the fuss is about. If you do nothing else to your garden, mulch it then let nature do the rest. If your wondering which mulch is best for your situation talk to one of the professionals at The Yard and we’ll happily recommend the right mulch.