Mulch is basically any ground cover. It is used to retain soil
nutrients, moisture and at the same time for the prevention of weeds. Mulches
can be stone, rock, dead plant matter or living like ivy and moss.Natural dead organic mulches are great
because over time they decompose into composted topsoil. Organic mulches like
compost and wood chips provide much needed nutrients when applied regularly.
One caution you may hear, wood chips leach nitrogen. While this is basically
true, I refer this process to nitrogen sinking not leaching. Most of the
nitrogen is absorbed into the wood and released slowly through the work of
microorganisms, bugs and worms. Use wood chip sparingly and you should be fine.
A great and inexpensive way to provide mulch is a process called
"Chop and Drop".This is done when a plant
has reached its desired height or use; it is like the name claims, chop and
drop. Chopping plants into smaller pieces seems to work better because it the
plants decompose quicker. They also do not mat up as much preventingwater from being absorbed.
Another way to get mulch is to use
shredded fall leaves. Trees roots dig deep into the sub soil reaching hard to
get nutrients and minerals in the earth. They pull the nutrient from the
ground, break them down and use them for
theirgrowth.These nutrients end up in there branches and leaves.Some people run over dried leaves with a lawn
mower to shred them. Living in the Arizona desert, I have no need for a lawn
mower so I don’t have one. The best way I have found to process these leaves is
through the use of a leaf blower set to vacuum and shred . Below you see a
picture of the before and after shredding leaves process.The result is perfect mulch for garden and