The benefits of mulching the garden, especially bare ground over winter is something that is widely accepted as being incredibly valuable. Not only does a mulch protect the soil microbiology but it helps the soil structure, prevents leaching of nutrients and stops weeds. Over the years I have tried quite a few different products.
- Woodchips are cheap and widely available but seem to attract slugs in our climate.
- Straw doesn’t break down fast enough in the winter so isn’t ideal.
- Cocoa Shell mulch is good but works out very expensive and difficult to transport.
This year I have been trying a new product I have found called easyMulch and it’s working out really well. The mulch is essentially pelleted straw that expands once it is wet.
The claims from the guys a easyMulch are:
- clean & easy
- retains moisture
- reduces weeds
- helps keep slugs away
- improves soil structure
I’ll cover my opinions on each of these claims.
Clean & Easy
The mulch comes in fairly lightweight bags (when compared to compost/mulch) that are easy to get around. The mulch comes as small pellets which are easy to spread on the garden using a trowel, then it’s simply a case of watering the mulch so it expands. This is by far the easiest mulch I have used.
The mulch comes in 15kg bags which once watered expand to the equivalent of 400ltrs of bark mulch. On nice days I have found there is moisture under the layer of mulch when the bare soil is dry. I would expect this to be of great benefit in the summer months.
Using the mulch over winter prevents weeds on the soils surface beginning to grow early in the season. This is very important as once the crops planted begin to establish themselves the weeds will find it hard to grow. Adding a layer in summer would cut down as well.
Helps Deter Slugs
I have no proof of this however I could see it reducing the slugs.
Improves Soil Structure
This is certainly true. The soil in my garden that hasn’t had this mulch is hard, compacted and has puddles of water when it rains. The area with mulch is light and free draining. The soil microbiology love mulch. For me, using this mulch is worth it just for this benefit.
Overall I certainly believe easyMulch lives up to the claims. I much prefer this over the normal mulches that people use. Keeping the soil in a good condition is especially essential on a vegetable garden where you are growing hungry annual crops so I really would recommend easyMulch.