How to mulch the garden step by step

garden mulch

garden mulch

In many cases, the English term mulching is heard to designate the protection of the soil in which the crop is located. In Spanish we have a name, padded. Let’s see what it is, what it is for and what we gain or lose by applying this technology. The garden mulch It is not only good for crops, as it poses significant difficulties to adventitious plants, but also for the soil itself, for example, by protecting it from solar radiation.

For this reason, we are going to dedicate this article to telling you how to make a garden mulch and what its characteristics are.

Advantages of garden mulch

how to make garden mulch

how to mulch the garden

These are the main advantages:

  • We provide shade for topsoil (if available) and soil, promoting microclimate conditions that favor the microbial and nitrifying flora. This translates into better nitrification, and with it, the supply of nitrogen to our soils.
  • We prevent to a certain extent the work sole (compression of the earth) and we favor ventilation due to its porosity.
  • We have already mentioned that it maintains optimal humidity levels for the shade of the earth.
  • We prevent the development of most adventitious plants
  • If we have already told you about the enormous water-saving advantages of infiltration irrigation, if you combine it with this technique, the water savings will be even greater by avoiding the dehydration of the most superficial layers of the soil.
  • With putty we get a better structure on the floor.
  • We avoid most of the UV radiation that would destroy the microbial flora on the surface.
  • At the end of the day, mulch is organic matter that eventually breaks down to provide nutrients to the soil.

As we have seen, mulching the garden has many advantages. It must be taken into account since it does not always come in handy and it is not suitable for all climates. First, if we are planting transplants, mulch is helpful. If it is direct seeding, then we have a problem because they need heat and sunlight to germinate properly.

Another factor to consider is the weather. For hot climates, this technique works best for us. Long summers, hot springs… however, in cold and humid climates, it is difficult for the soil to absorb enough heat in spring, which is essential for the normal development of nightshades and cucurbits.

How to make garden mulch

cover the lawn

cover the grass

Let’s see what materials we can use:

  • Straw: Grain straw is the best mulch. There is only one obstacle. If we don’t want to go to the trouble of uprooting weeds, we need to be careful with straw that contains grains that will eventually sprout. In addition, cereal straw tolerates decay well.
  • Harvest: This is another great mulch. Compared to straw, we have to put on a thin layer as it tends to clump more easily than that and will backfire if we add too much. Eventually it will rot and we won’t have the ideal aeration or the right conditions. It is less stable than straw and breaks down faster, so it needs to be replaced more often.
  • Remnant Trim (BRF): This is another very good mulch. Obviously it has to be tamped down. This garden mulch deserves special attention. It breaks down very slowly (over 2 years) and will eventually provide a certain amount of nutrients with little need to use compost, manure or other types of fertilizers. This type of padding is called BRF, an acronym for Boix Rameaux Fragmentés (wood cut in branches) in French. In many European countries, this filling is made from straw instead of straw, usually from fruit trees.
  • Harvest: Same behavior as grass. Watch out for thick layers that will cause the filling to collapse. We will waterproof the earth and drown it. There is nothing to be desired.
  • Pine barkPairing: Not highly recommended due to its acidity. It can be used in crops that prefer acid soils.
  • Sawdust: Not highly recommended if we don’t know where it came from. May have traces of resin and artificial glue.
  • Carton and paper: Also useful, but questionable aesthetically. Be careful with the prints and inks they may have. We also do not believe that this method is highly recommended, but it can also be used.
  • gravel and clay expanded: They can also be used for quilting. They inflate and maintain the correct humidity.
  • Stone: Used in arid regions. They shade, retain moisture, and provide sun protection.
  • Green manure as mulch: Yes, we want to leave this for last. If we know those crops that provide nutrients (legumes) and do not compete with the main crop, they are an excellent mulch in their own right.


It has a small limit in cold and humid areas. In these areas, although the summers are hot, the springs are not so hot and the land is not hot enough for a good productive development. Especially solanaceae (potato, tomato, aubergine…) and cucurbits (watermelon, melon, cucumber…).

If we want to protect the land from the heat in these areas, the ideal is to cover it with old mulch or rotted manure, which absorbs solar radiation when it gets dark.

How to mulch the garden step by step



It is recommended to apply mulch before the tree or plant begins to sprout. In this way, the new plant will take better advantage of the nutrient supply or soil improvement that will be obtained. When we refer to our orchards, pots or gardens, the ideal is to do it before the harvest begins at the end of winter, which we can repeat at the end of summer.

The steps to mulch the orchard are usually:

  • Remove weeds and loosen the soil with a hoe to loosen the soil and achieve better penetration of the materials and supplements we provide.
  • Add material and distribute it in fillings between 10cm and 15cm thick.
  • The addition of microorganisms favors the decomposition of organic matter and the absorption of nutrients by plants.
  • Add the nutrients your plants need.
  • Bury the microbes and compost with a rake or cultivator and mix them up.
  • Water the crops.

So your garden padding will be ready. I hope that with this information you can learn more about how to mulch the garden.

How to mulch the garden step by step

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