Ground covering or mulches are loose coverings of material applied over bare soil. Ground covering can be useful to help protect the roots of plants from extreme temperatures over winter.
Ground coverings also have a whole host of other benefits, including:
- Protecting soil from heavy rain
- Improving the appearance of the garden
- Preventing weeds from growing
- Helping soil retain water in summer
- Improving the condition of soil over time (if organic).
Different types of ground covering
There are many different types of ground coverings, the one that is right for your garden will depend on your aesthetic preference, as most will do a similar job. Popular organic mulches include:
Pebbles, stones and grit can also be used as a ground covering, but they won't improve the soil condition like organic mulch.
How to apply
The best time to apply ground covering is in late spring or autumn, when the ground is moist and warm. However, autumn can be a better choice as you will avoid accidently smothering growing plants.
Tips for applying mulch:
- Apply at least 5cm deep, in order to be effective at protecting roots and preventing weeds.
- Remove any existing weeds before applying.
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