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How to protect the soil against drought and weeds

Mulch is an organic layer, such as straw, leaves, vegetable scraps or sawdust, which is applied over the soil surface to retain moisture by reducing evaporation, to prevent weed growth, but also to ensure, through decomposition, nutrients for the plants.

You can use lots of materials

Mulching the soil is based on litter imitation, a permanent vegetation carpet formed in the natural process of covering the soil with organic matter along seasons.
Mulching materials can be: straw, husks, grass cuttings, leaves, sawdust, shavings, straws from vegetable harvesting, shredded bark, peat, forest litter and compost made from household waste.

This technique copies the natural process
Mulching isn’t a temporary procedure. By decomposing organic materials added constantly on the soil, around trees and in vegetable garden is done the natural earth’s fattening, especially with nitrogen. Plants are protected from weeds, some insects and pests are kept away and soil’s moisture is maintained. Materials used for soil mulching are not removed because they contribute to composting. The next season, planting is done in the old mulch layer then fresh mulch is added.

Eliminates the need to loosen the soil
If you use fresh compost, juicy, the mulch layer should be thin to avoid corruption. Dried material (grass, straw) can be overlapped even in a layer of 20 cm.

It’s good to know that under the mulch, as in the case of natural carpet, are a wide variety of living beings, the most important are earthworms. Thus, permanent soil mulching will save you time because the digging and loosing will be done by earthworms.

CAREFUL! Mulching won’t be done in damp, shady gardens, especially where are problems with slugs or rodents.

Benefits
Mulching technique brings the following advantages:
– Prevent water evaporation;
– Protects the roots from sudden temperature differences;
– Ensure soils chemistry because it generates nutrients;
– Prevents the loss of good substances in the soil after rain, frost, wind;
– Suffocates weeds;
– Protects from certain pests;
– Prevents splashing mud over plants during rain or when you water the garden.

• Materials used in mulch composition shouldn’t contain germinate seeds or be infested with pests and diseases
• Diversify from one year to another the materials used for mulch in the vegetable layers to enable a diversified ground feeding.

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