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Do you mulch before winter? No doubt that I mulch in spring but before winter not always. This year is different. Last year we had nearly no snow (aways a good insulator) and this spring I had such an easy time because of the mulch layer that I decided that Mulching before winter is a clever idea.
What is mulching
Mulching is the spreading of organic matter, such as leaves and compost, over the soil.
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What is the effect of mulch
- Mulch can improve your soil if it is a natural material
- Mulch prevents weed growth and reduces the need to water; benefits which of course are greater in spring than in winter
- Mulch significantly reduces silting of the soil
- Mulch protects perennials for frost
- Mulch retains moisture in the soil
- Mulch provides a home to micro-organism in the garden
Sorts of mulch
- Fallen and/or cut foliage; leave this instead of taking it away. A simple, cheap way that causes the foliage to decay quickly.
- Cocoa shells, I always used to put cocoa shells in the garden due to its deterrent effect on cats and snails, but it does not add much value to the soil and maybe harmful for dogs
- Wood chips, pleasant under trees and shrubs, between the plants you should not make the layer too thick to prevent oxygen deficiency.
- Leaf mulch, not what has fallen in your own garden but composted leaves. It lasts longer and can really be composted. If you have a compost heap yourself, that is of course ideal. Our municipality has collection points where you can get this mulch.
Mulching before winter, how to use it
- The best time is around the first moderate frost (-5°) This way you can keep the soil temperature around freezing.
- If needed water the soil before you apply the mulch
- Remove weeds
- To insulate, the layer must be a few centimeters thick.
- This is also the time to plant bulbs. Read more about planting bulbs here.
- And about spring flowering bulbs here
Success mulching your garden before winter and your perennials will pop through the mulch in spring in much better condition than without mulch.