The Council Gardener - mulching and composting to get your garden ready for next year
This month's The Council Gardener vlog is about two things which will help your garden grow better - mulching and composting.
Below we have helpful hints and information from the vlog.
Remember, gardening is all about growing, so let's grow together!
Mulching is placing a material over the bare soil around your plant or tree.
• soil moisture retention
• helps to suppress weeds
• improves soil compostion and texture.
• can deter some pests
• gives roots protection against climate conditions
• easier weeding medium than soil
• just gives a better look/finish.
Mulch can come in many forms, with each one giving you something different:
Stones/slate/pebbles/chuckies - being non degradable, stones give a long life span. You will have to water and feed your plants as they can be restricting of nutrients. They can many different options, colours and also give a great finish.
Bark and wood chippings - being degradable, wood doesn't last as long life as stone but still longer than other options. It has good water retention. Suppresses the weed well. Also now comes in many forms such as coloured bark or chippings giving you a few options to get the finish you desire.
Compost - being very degradable, compost will have to be topped up each year. Not only does it hold nutrients and water better than the rest, it improves the soil condition and composition. It's not the best at suppressing weeds but is the easier weeding medium than soil. Also leaves a lovely dark soil finish.
What is composting?
Composting is using all the organic material you using in everyday life, in the garden and recycling it.
This is done by either making a pit, having a heap, a home plastic compost bin, bay or pallets.
How does it work?
Composting is a aerobic process meaning using air to decompose the material into a new form.
First of all, you're making free mulch. Even though Aberdeen City Council dooes a great job collecting all your green waste, every little you can do helps to save the environment.
Dos and don'ts of composting
The process can take from 6months to 18 months so don't expect quick results.
Regularly turn your heap. This will speed the process by introducing more air.
The material you can use are split into two categories greens and browns. You need a 50/50 split of both materials to get the best compost.
Lists of materials for your compost heap
Greens - weeds, waste vegetables, citrus peels, grass clippings, house plants, old bedding plants, tea bags
Browns - cardboard, leaves, egg boxes, paper, hedge prunings, vaccum contents;
Never put the following into your compost heap - bones, cat/dog litter, plastics, crisps bags/foils, meat and fish scraps, dairy products