The planting season is well under way and you are in the midst of finishing your garden. The big question has finally arisen; to mulch or not to mulch? Mulching in Brisbane can have many positive effects on soil and plant growth. Organic mulches break down and provide nutrients that leach into the soil. This slow process will gradually increase the quality of your soil. Inorganic mulches are not recommended for the home user due to the difficulty in removing if you choose to change your garden at a future date.
Organic mulching in Brisbane is optimally done after winter as the soil warms. Once all danger of freezing has passed it is time to break out the mulch. Mulch provides a layer of insulation between the soil and surrounding temperatures. Once mulch is added the soil will be slower to cool and slower to warm. This is why you mulch twice a year. Mulch once, immediately after the first freeze, to help prevent the rapid freezing and defrosting of the soil. Repeated freezing and defrosting can damage or even kill plants and delay their start.
Mulch again in the spring after the soil has warmed up enough. It is important not to mulch too early as that will cause the soil to warm more slowly and delay plant growth. Be sure to leave at least two inches around each plant totally free from mulch. The insulating effect of mulch also helps to reduce soil erosion and the impact of heavy rains. The side-effect is increased humidity which can provide breeding grounds for plant eating bacteria. Proper use of mulch is very effective in increasing garden production when used properly.