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Encyclopedia > Mulch

In agriculture and gardening, mulch is a protective cover placed over the soil, primarily to modify the effects of the local climate. A wide variety of natural and synthetic materials are used. A gardener Gardening is the art of growing plants with the goal of crafting a purposeful landscape. ... Loess field in Germany Soil horizons are formed by combined biological, chemical and physical alterations. ... Galunggung in 1982, showing a combination of natural events. ... Generally, synthetic means pertaining to synthesis, i. ...

Look up Mulch in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Mulch is used for various purposes: Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ...

Shredded wood used as mulch. This type of mulch is often dyed to improve its appearance in the landscape.
Shredded wood used as mulch. This type of mulch is often dyed to improve its appearance in the landscape.
Pine needles used as mulch. Also called "pinestraw" in the southern U.S.
Pine needles used as mulch. Also called "pinestraw" in the southern U.S.

A variety of materials are used as mulch: Image File history File links Mulch. ... Image File history File links Mulch. ... Image File history File links Mulch2. ... Image File history File links Mulch2. ... Fig. ... In physics, heat, symbolized by Q, is defined as energy in transit. ... Spring is one of the four seasons of temperate zones, the transition from winter into summer. ... Fall redirects here. ... Summer is a season that is astronomically defined as beginning around June 21, and ending around September 23 in the Northern Hemisphere. ... A common weed flower The notion of what constitutes a weed is almost entirely in the eye of the beholder. ... It has been suggested that solar radiation be merged into this article or section. ... Sunflower seedlings, just three days after germination Germination is the process where growth emerges from a resting stage. ... Water is an odourless substance that is essential to all known forms of life and is known as the universal solvent. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... A nutrient is either element or compound necessary for or contributing to an organisms metabolism, growth, or other functioning. ... Orders Subclass Apterygota Symphypleona - globular springtails Subclass Archaeognatha (jumping bristletails) Subclass Dicondylia Monura - extinct Thysanura (common bristletails) Subclass Pterygota Diaphanopteroidea - extinct Palaeodictyoptera - extinct Megasecoptera - extinct Archodonata - extinct Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Infraclass Neoptera Blattodea (cockroaches) Mantodea (mantids) Isoptera (termites) Zoraptera Grylloblattodea Dermaptera (earwigs) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets... It has been suggested that solar radiation be merged into this article or section. ... Fruit stall in Barcelona, Spain. ... Species - hubbard squash, buttercup squash - cushaw squash C. moschata- butternut squash C. pepo- most pumpkins, acorn squash, summer squash References: ITIS 223652002-11-06 Hortus Third Squashes are four species of the genus Cucurbita, also called pumpkins and marrows depending on variety or the nationality of the speaker. ... Binomial name Cucumis melo L. The melon is the fruit and plant of a typically vine-like (climber and trailer) herb that was first cultivated more than 4000 years ago (~ 2000 BC) in Persia and Africa. ... Erosion control is the practice of preventing or controlling wind or water erosion in agriculture and construction. ... Loess field in Germany Soil horizons are formed by combined biological, chemical and physical alterations. ... Rain falling Rain is a form of precipitation, other forms of which include snow, sleet, hail, and dew. ... Sediment is any particulate matter that can be transported by fluid flow and which eventually is deposited as a layer of solid particles on the bed or bottom of a body of water or other liquid. ... Runoff flowing into a stormwater drain Surface runoff is water, from rain, snowmelt, or other sources, that flows over the land surface, and is a major component of the water cycle[1][2]. Runoff that occurs on surfaces before reaching a channel is also called overland flow. ... The velocity of an object is simply its speed in a particular direction. ...

  • organic residues - grass clippings, leaves, hay, straw, shredded bark, sawdust, wood chips, shredded newspaper, cardboard, wool, etc. Many of these materials also act as a direct composting system. There are many differing opinions on what to use.
  • compost - This relies on fully composted material, where potential weed seed has been eliminated, or else the mulch will actually produce weed cover.
  • plastic mulch - Crops grow through slits or holes in thin plastic sheeting. This method is predominant in large-scale vegetable growing, with millions of acres cultivated under plastic mulch worldwide each year (disposal of plastic mulch is cited as an environmental problem).
  • organic sheet mulch - Various products developed as a biodegradable alternative to plastic mulch.
  • rock and gravel can also be used a mulch. In northern climates the heat retained by rocks will extend the growing season.

The way a particular organic mulch decomposes, and reacts to wetting by rain and dew, determine in great degree its effectiveness. Organic mulches can rot rapidly rather than slowly break down, and it can mat into a barrier that blocks water and air, both conditions that can be detrimental to crops. Organic material or organic matter is informally used to denote a material that originated as a living organism; most such materials contain carbon and are capable of decay. ... An area of grass-like plants Grass generally describes a monocotyledonous green plant in the family Poaceae, botanically regarded as true grasses. ... The leaves of a Beech tree A leaf with laminar structure and pinnate venation In botany, a leaf is an above-ground plant organ specialized for photosynthesis. ... Hay is dried grass or legumes cut and used for animal feed. ... Bales of straw bundles of rice straw Pile of straw bales, sheltered under a tarpaulin Straw is an agricultural byproduct, the dry stalk of a cereal plant, after the nutrient grain or seed has been removed. ... For other meanings of bark, see Bark (disambiguation). ... Sawdust is composed of fine particles of wood. ... Trunks A tree trunk as found at the Veluwe, The Netherlands Wood is derived from woody plants, notably trees but also shrubs. ... Corrugated cardboard. ... Long and short hair wool at the South Central Family Farm Research Center in Boonesville, Arizona Wool is the fibre derived from the fur of animals of the Caprinae family, principally sheep, but the hair of certain species of other mammals such as goats, alpacas and rabbits may also be... A handful of compost Compost is the aerobically decomposed remnants of organic materials (those with plant and animal origins). ... Plastic mulch is a product used to suppress weeds and conserve water in crop production and landscaping. ... Sheet composting is the process of composting organic matter directly onto the soil as a mulch and letting it decay there, rather than in a heap. ... Biodegradation is the decomposition of material by microorganisms. ... Gravel being unloaded from a barge Gravel is rock that is of a certain grain size range. ... In agriculture, the growing season is the period of each year when crops can be grown. ... The aviation term ROT stands for rate one turn. ...


Living mulch may also be considered a type of mulch, or as a mulch-like cover crop. This technique involves undersowing a main crop with a fast-growing cover crop that will provide weed suppression and other benefits associated with mulch. In agriculture, a living mulch is a cover crop interplanted or undersown with a main crop, and intended to serve the functions of a mulch, such as weed suppression and regulation of soil temperature. ... Broadly defined, a cover crop is any annual, biennial, or perennial plant grown as a monoculture (one crop type grown together) or polyculture (multiple crop types grown together), to improve any number of conditions associated with sustainable agriculture. ...


Mulching is an important part of any no-dig gardening regime, such as practiced within permaculture systems. No dig gardening is an approach to cultivation favoured by many organic gardeners. ... Permaculture Mandala summarising the ethics and principles of permaculture design. ...

Contents

Application

Mulch is usually applied towards the beginning of the growing season, and may be reapplied as necessary. It serves initially to warm the soil by helping it retain heat. This allows early seeding and transplanting of certain crops, and encourages faster growth. As the season progresses, the mulch stabilizes temperature and moisture, and prevents sunlight from germinating weed seed. In agriculture, the growing season is the period of each year when crops can be grown. ...


Plastic mulch used in large-scale commercial production is laid down with a tractor-drawn or standalone plastic mulch layer. This is usually part of a sophisticated mechanical process, where raised beds are formed, plastic is rolled out on top, and seedlings are transplanted through it. Drip irrigation is often required, with drip tape laid under the plastic, as plastic mulch is impermeable to water. A raised bed is a planting bed used in gardening that is above the existing soil. ... Sunflower seedlings, just three days after germination In a botanical sense, germination is the process of emergence of growth from a resting stage. ... In agriculture and gardening, transplanting is the technique of starting a plant from seed in optimal conditions, such as in a greenhouse or protected nursery bed, then replanting it in another, usually outdoor, growing location. ... An Emitter Main article: Irrigation Drip irrigation also known as trickle irrigation or microirrigation is an irrigation method that applies water slowly to the roots of plants, by depositing the water either on the soil surface or directly to the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and...


In home gardens and smaller farming operations, organic mulch is usually spread by hand around emerged plants. For materials like straw and hay, a shredder may be used to chop up the material. Organic mulches are usually piled quite high, six inches or more, and settle over the season. Mid-19th century tool for converting between different standards of the inch An inch is an Imperial and U.S. customary unit of length. ...


In central Pennsylvania, Harrisburg area, mulch is namely referred to as tanbark, even by manufacturers and distributors. In this area, "mulch" refers to very fine tanbark or peat moss.


Sour Mulch

Mulch should normally smell like freshly cut wood, but sometimes will develop a toxicity that will cause it to smell like vinegar, ammonia, sulfur or silage. This happens if the material is not rotated often enough and it forms pockets where no air is circulating. When this occurs, the decomposition process become anaerobic and produces these toxic materials in small quantities. Once exposed to the air, the process quickly reverts back to an aerobic decomposition, but these toxic materials will be present for a period of time. If the mulch is placed around plants before the toxicity has had a chance to dissipate, then the plants could very likely be severely damaged or killed depending on their hardiness. Plants that are predominantly low to the ground or freshly planted are the most susceptible.


If sour mulch is applied and there is plant kill, the best thing to do is just water the mulch heavily. Water will help the chemicals to dissipate more quickly and refresh the plants. By the time plant kill is noticed, most of the toxicity will have already disappeared anyway, so removing the offending mulch will have little effect. While testing after plant kill will not likely turn up anything since the toxicity will have dissipated, a simple pH check may reveal a highly acid content, perhaps in the 1.8 to 3.6 range instead of the normal 6.0 to 7.2 range. Finally, placing a bit of the offending mulch around another plant to check for plant kill will verify if the toxicity has departed. If the new plant is also killed, then sour mulch is probably not the problem.


External links

References

  • Beware of Sour Mulch

  Results from FactBites:
 
Mulch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (604 words)
Living mulch may also be considered a type of mulch, or as a mulch-like cover crop.
Mulching is an important part of any no-dig gardening regime, such as practiced within permaculture systems.
Mulch is usually applied towards the beginning of the growing season, and may be reapplied as necessary.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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