Garden design tips with mulch

Garden design tips with mulch

1. Crops

Not all vegetable plants have the same growing conditions. Peppers, tomatoes, eggplants and melons are heat lovers and black plastic mulch is recommended for them. Applied in early spring, the plastic will raise soil temperatures and help warm the air around the plants. But most plastic mulches are not permeable to water, which means that as the season progresses, your plants may need more water. Improper humidity can stress your plants, lead to rot problems at the end of flowering and can diminish the overall harvest.
If you expect a lot of rain or plan to use aerial irrigation, the roots of your plants could get the moisture they need. Another solution is to install an irrigation system under plastic mulch. You may also want to consider removing the plastic at the end of July and replacing it with water-permeable mulch, such as straw, newspapers or grass. This mulch will allow rainwater and aerial irrigation to descend into the root zone and will also help retain moisture.
Cold weather crops, such as broccoli and greenery, do not want the extra heat from a plastic mulch. They will be better with straws, crushed leaves, mulch of paper or newspaper. These mulches can lower soil temperatures by up to 20 to 25 degrees, which can keep plants in cold weather, even by the summer heat.

2. Climate

If you live in a warm climate, use plastic mulch wisely. High soil temperatures can stress your plants and burn organic matter. In warm climates, most crops will be happier and more productive with a soil-cooling mulch, such as shredded leaves or straws. Conversely, if you live where the summers are cold and wet, using a moisture-retaining mulch could be disastrous. You may find your plants escaped from the cold, which turn yellow from too much moisture.
Make sure to allow the soil to warm up and dry a little before applying mulch to cool the soil. Depending on where you live, this can mean waiting until June or even the beginning of July. Consider using a plastic mulch during early spring. It will raise the soil temperature and will also help dry the soil.

3. Soil type

Consider the soil conditions of your garden before selecting a mulch. The most vegetable plants perform poorly in heavy, moist soil. This type of soil will usually dry out a bit as the season progresses, so do not cover it with a thick, moist mulch. No dry, sandy soil should be covered with plastic mulch, as it would prevent rain and irrigation of water from draining to the roots.