Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Rubber Mulch

Rubber Mulch

Rubber Mulch can be used for many landscape applications and has a lot of benefits making it a great alternative to the standard mulch products. Mulching with rubber is environmentally friendly and works excellent for numerous landscaping jobs including playgrounds and gardens, among other decorative design uses.

Most commercially available shredded or crumb rubber mulch is made from recycled rubber, mainly coming from tires. Rubber mulch is great for use in a playground setting; not only does it have great drainage characteristics of sand while being much softer, it also lasts much longer and holds its vibrant color much longer than wood mulch. And that fact that colored rubber mulch comes in many different colors allows you to match it to all your landscaping needs. Rubber mulch prices are very reasonable and will pay for itself since it does not have to be replaces annually like tradtional mulch solutions.

Playground Rubber Mulch
Other good features is that rubber mulch is not harmful to kids or pets, does not attract termites or bugs as most mulches will, does not decay or smell or mold. Also during rain the rubber mulch will not float away or been blown out by the wind. And it is a great insulator for root systems in the clod winter months. And of course its good for the environment by recycling tires and such products for the mulch. Here's a couple great rubber mulch dealer pages I've found to help get you started. Good luck.

SoftStuff Rubber Mulch

Perma-Life Rubber Mulch

Friday, December 15, 2006

Mulching Tips 2

Here are some tips as part of the mulch tip series. Hope you enjoy and find this useful for your gardening and planting needs. As always have fun and keep growing.

It is always advisable to mulch plants that are set in the fall. Any
loose and dry material--as straw, manure, leaves, leafmold, litter from
yards and stables, pine boughs--may be used for this purpose. Very
strong or compact manures, as those in which there is little straw or
litter, should be avoided. The ground may be covered to a depth of five
or six inches, or even a foot or more if the material is loose. Avoid
throwing strong manure directly on the crown of the plants, especially
of herbs, for the materials that leach from the manure sometimes injure
the crown buds and the roots.

This protection may also be given to established plants, particularly to
those which, like roses and herbaceous plants, are expected to give a
profusion of bloom the following year. This mulch affords not only
winter protection, but is an efficient means of fertilizing the land. A
large part of the plant-food materials have leached out of the mulch by
spring, and have become incorporated in the soil, where the plant makes
ready use of them.

Mulches also serve a most useful purpose in preventing the ground from
packing and baking by the weight of snows and rains, and the cementing
action of too much water in the surface soil. In the spring, the
coarser parts of the mulch may be removed, and the finer parts spaded or
hoed into the ground.

These mulching tips will be part of ongoing posts to help with the garden, planting, growing, landscaping, and other mulch usages. Thanks for coming to Mulch guide please come back soon.
Mulch Guide

Mulching Tips 1

After the ground freezes, and before severe cold sets in (about the 1st
to the 15th of December) the bed should be given its winter mulch. Bog
hay, which may be obtained cheaply from some nearby farmer, is about
the best material. Clean straw will do. Cover the entire bed, one or
two inches over the plants, and two or three between the rows. If
necessary, hold in place with old boards. In spring, but not before the
plants begin to grow, over each plant the mulch is pushed aside to let
it through. Besides giving winter protection, the mulch acts as a clean
even support for the berries and keeps the roots cool and moist.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Gardening - All About Mulching

by ian Williamson

Mulch is a layer of material spread on top of the soil to conserve soil moisture, discourage the growth of weeds, help prevent erosion and prevent large fluctuations in soil temperature. In other words, mulch modifies the soil micro-climate around your growing plants.

Ideally, mulch is light and permeable enough to allow water and air to pass through, yet dense enough to inhibit or eliminate the growth of weeds.

Mulches may be organic (usually plant material), mineral (crushed stone or gravel), or synthetic (plastics and geotextiles). Understanding their differences will help you choose the best mulch for your situation. Generally speaking, organic and mineral mulches cool the soil while synthetic mulches warm it up.

Any biodegradable material can be used as an organic mulch. Some of the most easily attainable materials include shredded or chipped bark, shredded leaves, hay, straw, and peat moss.

Avoid using whole leaves unless you mix them with straw or some other light material as they tend to mat down and get soggy. They can actually prevent water and air from reaching the soil beneath.

Grass clippings are an excellent choice of mulching material. They're so small they start breaking down and enriching the soil almost immediately. If you do use grass clippings, be sure they don't have pesticide residue on them. Many lawn treatments contain herbicides that kill broadleaf plants, including those that you may be trying to grow in your garden. And of course, if you're mulching a vegetable garden you don't want to be adding poisonous chemicals to it.

You may be fortunate enough to live near a source of industrial by-products that are useful for mulching. Some ideas are sawdust or shavings from sawmills, spent hops from breweries, or composted manure from mushroom growers.

Careful with the sawdust. It's deficient in nitrogen so you might want to mix it with some compost. Also, softwood sawdust is acidic, so you don't want to use it too close to plants that prefer a neutral or alkaline soil.

Advantages of mulching:

Mulched plant roots are not subjected to extreme temperatures. Unmulched roots get hot and dry in the summer and can be damaged by the heaving of soil during sudden frosts and thaws in winter.

Organic mulches and some mineral mulches contain nutrients that gradually wash down into the soil and fertilize the plant roots.

Weeding and hoeing the garden are practically eliminated when you mulch! The few weeds that manage to poke up through the mulch are easily nipped out, and there's no need to cultivate because the mulch keeps the soil loose.

Mulch protects the soil from the drying action of the sun and wind, and protects it from erosion from wind and hard rain. Mulched plants can often endure a long dry spell with hardly any watering.

Mulch protects vegetables such as squash, cucumber, unstaked tomatoes or strawberries that lie on the ground when they're ripe. The mulch keeps them clean and dry, preventing rot and mildew. Likewise, low growing flowers will not be splashed with mud in a mulched flower bed.

When not to mulch:

Seedlings planted in very moist soil should not be mulched until they are well established, as the higher soil moisture can encourage damping-off, a fungal infection that is usually fatal.

If the soil is waterlogged from spring rains, let it dry out a bit before mulching perennials to avoid crown rot, another fungal infection. It is best to leave an open circle a few inches in diameter around the base of each plant for air circulation.

Don't mulch a low-lying, wet soil.

There's too much to learn about mulching to fit it all into one article, but I hope you can see that mulching has great benefits for your garden and for you.

Your plants will benefit by having their roots protected from heat and dryness in the summer and from frost heaving in the winter, your soil will stay loose and friable, weeding will disappear off your chore list and you'll save water too!

About the Author

For more Garden Articles by Ian Williamson please visit

Mulch Guide

The Basics of Mulch

by Khieng Chho

Mulch is a term used in the agriculture and gardening industry to refer to a protective layer of covering placed on top of the soil to tame the effects of the climate. Mulch can be composed of natural or synthetic materials or the combination of both to form a wide assortment of covering substance.

Farmers and gardeners cover soils with mulch for various purposes. First it controls the proliferation of weeds by depriving them from sunlight and thus decreasing the chance for their germination. Next it helps retain water in the soil by slowing down the process of evaporation. Mulch also doubles as fertilizer when natural mulch materials break down into organic matter and nutrients which are beneficial for plant life. Certain materials of mulch can also repel insects that can be quite harmful to plants. Mulch also helps plants to grow by reflecting sunlight to the plants upwards, which increases the process of photosynthesis - the production of plant food. Mulch also helps provide a dry and clean surface for the thriving of fruits that lie on the ground such as melons, cantaloupes, and squash.
There are many materials used in making mulch. Some materials are used by themselves while other are used in combination with each other. Mulch may be made of organic residues such as dry leaves, hay sawdust, wood chips, shredded newspapers, grass clippings, straw, wool and other safe scrap materials; such materials can also become natural fertilizers as they decompose and break down. Mulch can also be made of compost, fully decomposed materials, too keep the nutritional requirements of the plants. When using compost as mulch, it is important to remove all traces of weeds and their seeds to prevent their growth. Mulch may also be made from plastic to protect the soil and maintain its consistency. This is especially helpful for large agricultural industries. Another a material for mulch are organic sheets, they serve similar purposes as with plastic mulch, but they are biodegradable and thus more environment friendly. Rock and gravel can also serve as mulch, they are most often used to retain heat in cold areas and seasons. Pine needles can also be used as mulch and they are helpful in adjusting the soil temperature, keeping the soil warm during spring and fall, and cool during the summers.

The application of mulch usually occurs around the start of each growing season. If necessary, additional mulch is applied throughout the period. During the early stages of germination, mulch serves as insulator that keeps necessary heat within the soil. This helps seed to grow quickly and seedlings to grow rapidly as well. During the latter stages of plant growth, mulch regularizes moisture and temperature, keeping the plant and the soil in good condition for growth. At this point, mulch is also used to prevent the thriving of weeds. Mulch may also have certain aesthetic purposes. Shredded wood or other materials can be colored to look good in the landscape.

Mulch can be applied either manually or with the help of machines. Certain equipment may help applying mulch. For instance, plastic mulch can be laid down by a tractor as it forms planting beds in the field. Otherwise, mulch can be placed by the farmers and gardeners' hands.

There are other types and functions of mulch. They are such helpful components of landscapes as they provide many things that are beneficial to farms and gardens.

About the Author

Khieng 'Ken' Chho is the author and owner of Online Mulch Resources. For more information, visit Ken's website:

Mulch Guide

Sunday, June 04, 2006

How To Improve Garden Soil Naturally

by Judith Schwader

Healthy garden soil is teeming with life: there are earthworms and micro-organisms by the millions, each with a particular function in making soil fertile. Like any living thing, the soil must have food. Without food, the life in soil either leaves or dies. Eventually, the garden itself weakens and dies.

Soil life eats organic matter, decomposing it and creating a crucial soil element called humus. Humus is decayed organic material. The process of decomposition releases nutrients in forms that plants can absorb. In other words, decomposition of organic material has a fertilizing effect.

But fertility is only part of the value of regularly feeding the soil with organic material. Humus also contributes to the sponge-like soil texture that allows air circulation and moisture retention. Loam -- the ideal soil for growing plants -- is a balanced mixture of sand, clay, silt, and organic matter. Humus will bind sandy soil or loosen hard-packed clay.

For these beneficial results (for fertility and texture), the life in soil needs fresh food. Regular doses of organic material will ensure that garden dirt is enhanced rather than depleted over the lifetime of the garden. Every year, a 30 by 40 foot garden needs around 400 pounds (equivalent to 10 bales of hay) of organic material, but it doesn't need to be added all at once.

Additions of organic material take a variety of forms. For starters, chop garden residues into the soil: weeds, mulch, and plants left after harvest. Hauling in compost by the yard from nurseries or hauling animal manures from nearby farms is also an option. But the easiest and most cost effective method of continuous additions of organic material is to grow cover crops, also known as green manures.

Cover crops are grown and tilled into the soil, replenishing rather than removing nutrients. Even in a small garden, this is an effective method when a harvest crop and a green manure are grown in rotation. For instance, plant a late summer green manure after an early crop such as peas or broccoli.

Some suggestions for cover crops include legumes, buckwheat, and ryegrass.

Legumes such as peas and soybeans fix atmospheric nitrogen into the soil when inoculated seeds that attract certain micro-organisms are used. In addition, these legumes are vegetables, making a single planting both a harvest crop and a green manure.

For bulk and quick growth, ryegrass or other annual grains are good choices. In colder climates these are especially good cover crops for the end of summer because they die over the winter and are easy to till in the spring. For the poorest soils, buckwheat is most useful.

Green manures can work with or without using powered equipment, but in larger gardens a roto-tiller certainly makes the process easier. In smaller gardens, the question of whether it makes financial sense to invest in renting or buying a roto-tiller has to be weighed against the cost of hauling in compost and animal manures.

Either way -- hauling or tilling -- some form of additional organic material beyond chopping in garden residues must happen in order for the soil to function and for the plants it supports to thrive.

About the Author

Life-time gardener Judith Schwader specializes in organic gardening methods. She shares expertise, humor, and advice for your gardening success at A to Z Gardening. Also visit FB Home for additional home and garden information.

Benefits of Mulch

by Khieng Chho

Environmentalists are advocates for a clean and green environment. Their projects may start from the segregation of bio and non-bio degradable waste materials. Planting of trees in your backyard is also another.

In your own simple can also be an environmentalist. Dare to make a difference...

Flowering plants, fruit-bearing trees, green meadow...these are all creations that need proper care. All of them add beauty to the surroundings. Now, your responsibility is to take care of the said creations.

Plants are very important because aside from adding splendor to the environment, they can also be the major source of food for both human beings and animals. There are ways that are designed to sustain nourishment in a plant's life.

Aside from water and sunlight that are considered to be the basic needs of plants, natural components are also necessary for its growth. Mulch is one.

Mulch refers to any material placed over the soil in your garden. It helps in keeping moisture, deter weeds and protect the soil from erosion. Mulch has been used by most of the farmers and gardeners in the maintenance of the plants. For busy people who still want to ensure the health of the plants, mulch is best to use. It comes from various sources.

This natural component can either be purchased in a garden center or you can make your own by means of the shredding leaves, roots and other organic materials. It serves as an abundant fertilizer for your plants.

Here are some of the benefits of mulch:

* It is environmental friendly.
Rather than throwing the shred organic materials particularly the falling leaves coming from the tree, you can recycle it and create them into mulch. Through this, you are able to save money and preserve the environment.

* It is time-saving device.
It does not require you to consume much time just to tilt the soil and spray your plants all the time. When you put mulch into the plants it will prevent the weeds from sprouting into the garden.

* Constant watering is not necessary.
Mulch keeps the moisture of the soil so that you will not water the plants regularly. Mulch also helps in neutralizing the amount of heat transpiring in the plants.

* Plants are less susceptible to soil erosion.
Mulch enriches the soil and it will prevent rain from washing away the soil. A thicker layer of mulch is mostly preferable.

The only disadvantage about mulch is its unpleasant odor. You can always ignore it if you are really after the nourishment of the plants in your garden.

About the Author

Khieng 'Ken' Chho is author and owner of Garden Mulch. For related articles, visit Ken's website: