How to Make Mulch How to Make Mulch
You can learn how to make mulch on your own so that you can improve the quality of your soil by means of an organic method without spending extra money. Mulch helps to recycle the organic wastes from your home to garden. It can suppress the growth of weeds and also acts as a barrier to the soil from outside world. Mulch can be prepared from many ingredients like tree barks, leaves and wood chips.
Step 1 – Determine the Mulch Amount
Determine the amount of mulch required for your garden. At least 4 to 5 inches of mulch has to be applied to the top soil. Set aside an area in your garden or yard for preparing the mulch based on the required amounts. If you cannot set aside an area, you can prepare the mulch in compost bins. Select an area which does not have any plants, shrubs or grass because mulch pile can kill the plants underneath.
Step 2 – Add Leaves
Start raking leaves from the fall season. Collect leaves from nearby gardens or road if you do not have enough pile. Take care not to use leaves that are infested by pests and insects. Similarly do not use the leaves of plants like eucalyptus, camphor laurel and walnut as their leaf constituents inhibits the growth of plants. Dry the leaves and run these leaves under mulching lawn mower or wood chopper in order to chop them into small pieces. Only shredded and chopped leaves can break down easily. Put these chopped leaves in the mulch pile or bin and go on adding the chopped leaves to the pile.
Step 3 – Add Urea and More Leaves
After the leaves reach a height of 12 to 18 inches, add handful of urea or ammonium nitrate which can partially break down the leaves. Now mix it with little water, but take care not to saturate it with water. Again pile the mulch with more leaves and apply urea once it forms another layer.
Step 4 – Prevent Decomposition
Compost has to decompose completely while mulch should not. So take steps to prevent decomposition of the mulch pile. You can do this by simply covering the bin or mulch pile area with a plastic or tarpaulin cover.
Step 5 – Use the Mulch
Let your mulch pile get ready for usage. After 2 to 3 months, you can observe the formation of white layer on your mulch. This is the growth of leaf fungus, which helps in significantly improving the nutrient value. Spread the mulch in your garden areas with flower beds or places around the trunks and roots of the trees. You should apply at least 4 to 5 inches of mulch and it must totally cover the compost below it so that the compost can decompose easily, releasing the essential nutrients to the soil.