[music] once your vegetables are established,you'll need to do three things for success. keep them well weeded, keep them wellhydrated, and make sure they have enough nutrients to grow on strongly. an organic mulch can help with all of the above while showing off your crops to theirfull advantage. in this video we'll look at where, when, and how to mulch. an organic mulch is simply a biodegradable materialthat is laid on the soil surface. organic mulches offer a number ofadvantages.
by blocking light from reaching the soil they dramatically reduce weed growth, saving you lots of time and effort. mulches protect the soil from thecompacting effects of heavy rain while keeping soil moisture locked in forlonger. one of the main benefits of using organic mulches is that they help to feed the soil as they rot down. they improve conditions for earthworms, which will in turn improve your soil structure, and therefore plant growth. mulches also attract many beneficial garden predators such as spiders and ground beetles, which help to keep insect pests under control.
mulching is a great way to use upgarden trimmings. for instance, you can apply thin layers of grass clippings as they become available (though not if the lawn has been treated withweedkiller). you can shred woody prunings, then spread them around trees, shrubs and fruit bushes. shredded prunings or shredded bark are alsoperfect for mulching paths between beds. straw or hay is a good choice for robustor upright crops. lay it nice and thick, because it will settle. straw will help to keep fruits such as strawberries, zucchinis/courgettes, and bush tomatoes clean and dry. lift the foliage off the ground,then feed it in underneath
to protect developing fruits from rotting. avoid laying mulches in cooler,damper periods of spring when they may act as a haven for slugs. before laying a mulch, first remove any perennial weeds. in dry weather,give the ground a really thorough watering or wait until it has rainedbefore laying the mulch. lay most mulches a minimum of 1-2 inches (3-5cm) deep. some, like straw, can be laid much thickerthan this. the one exception to this rule is grass clippings,
which should be applied in thin layers regularly to avoid it turning into a smelly, slimy mat. soil that's currently bare can be mulched to protect itfrom harsh weather and to stop weeds from spreading. layers of thick brown cardboard,laid so the sheets overlap by at least a foot (30cm), will thwart most weeds by excluding light. weigh the cardboard down with bricks orstones to stop it blowing away. this is a good way to keep soil inhealthy condition over winter. lay the cardboard down in autumn or early winter, having first spread out a layer of organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure to improve the soil. planting through a mulch is easy.
carefully push it back, then dig a holefor your plant and set it into position as normal. draw back the mulch, taking care not tosmother the young plant. mulches make the gardener's life so much easier. use them throughout your plotand you'll save yourself a lot of work. drop us a comment below if you've gotother tips for using biodegradable mulches, and if you've not yet subscribedto our video channel, well, now's the time to hit thatsubscribe button! i'll catch you next time.