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Earth Day Fun - DIY Organic Mulching

By: Steve Frailey Wednesday April 4, 2018 comments Tags: organic mulching, organic farming, sustainable farming

Organic mulching is:

Truly the best thing to help plants remain healthy. If one does nothing but mulch, plants will respond positively and grow much healthier.

Organic mulching creates an environment for lots of good things to happen. Mulching creates a cool, dark, and moist environment where earthworms (your best friends) thrive. Earthworms loosen the earth, aerate and fertilize plants. Click here to learn more about earthworms

Spreading organic mulch saves labor and nurtures plants by preventing most weed seeds from germinating. By maintaining moist soil during summer months, organic mulch reduces the need to water. Click here for 9 tips to save water at home.

Did you know? Myth: Mulching prevents soil from freezing. Fact: Mulching decreases the possibility of plants being trapped in freeze/thaw cycles. Organic mulching allows soil to warm up gradually in spring, preventing damage to plants that germinate early before temperatures are warm enough to sustain them.

How do you mulch?

Spring: Trees shrubs, and perennials thrive between 2” – 3” layer of mulch around the base. Fall: After the ground freezes, apply 4” – 6” of organic mulch to provide winter protection.

Types of organic mulch and how to use

  • Shredded hard or soft wood
  • Large wood chips can be used in creating natural pathways. Wood chips are not suited for newly planted gardens as wood chips decompose slowly and will initially deplete much needed nitrogen from the soil.
  • Leaf mold (composted leaves) are ideal for shrubs.
  • Manure is useful roses and shrubs.
  • Composted bark is best around trees, shrubs, and other acid-loving plants.
  • Chipped bark is heavy and dense discouraging weed germination. Chipped bark can last years before needing to be topped off.

Mulching Hawaiian Organic Noni Style

We love to shred coconut palm fronds for mulch on our farm, but if you want to do it yourself, simply use whatever is available in your area. Getting the local tree trimmer to dump his load of shredded material will go a long way and give you lots of mulching material. We mulch 10-12 inches thick around every tree in the orchard - twice a year. As it decomposes, the material is turning into topsoil - similar to what Nature does in the forest but you will be doing it quicker. Mulched gardens are healthier, have fewer weeds, and are more drought-resistant than unmulched gardens. Done properly, it'll allow you to spend less time watering, weeding, and fighting pest problems.



Steve Frailey

About the Author: Steve Frailey

My wife and I (Steve Frailey) moved to Kauai, Hawaii in 1982 from our organic farm in California. There were no roads, electricity, water or buildings but lots of Noni trees (Morinda Citrifolia) in our valley. We also developed a deep relationship with Noni that was growing all through our valley.  Today we run our Hawaiian Organic Noni farm, and share the gift of health with people throughout the world.