Here at Tullamore Farm we avoid exposed soil and mulch our Fruit trees and Vegetables all year round. That layer of mulch plays an important part in keeping the soil cooler and retaining moisture. The practice of mulching will save time watering which also means money saving. Water will not get any cheaper in the future.
By providing that cover over the ground you minimise soil loss to wind and rain plus provide protection for all the organisms in the soil that build a healthy environment for great growing. Beneficial Insects, Worms, Bacteria and soil Fungi, to name a few. Plus, as the mulch breaks down, you are adding nutrients to the soil. As that occurs, just top up the mulch to keep those benefits going.
We don’t turn the soil in our vegetable gardens and to make this more successful we add Sugar Cane Mulch to all our beds and top it up as the mulch slowly breaks down. When mulching our vegetable gardens we prefer mulches like Sugar Cane because you are not adding the quantity of seeds that come in the likes of Mower Clippings. The fewer seeds added, the fewer weeds you will have springing up and competing with your vegetables. It is easy to work with and no splinters.
All our fruit trees receive significant amounts of prunings, wood chips and other forms of mulch around the tree bases. The bigger mulching pieces are used around the fruit trees. The same reasoning – suppress the weeds, retain moisture, and protect all the beneficial critters. Mulch out to at least the widest area under the leaves and branches.
Take a little time to consider all the green material you remove which can be used to improve your growing practices. Reduce burning or sending to the tip in your trailer or via Council Pickups and retain as much for mulching as possible and watch the increased productivity of your Fruit and Vegetables.