Creating a mulch pile for your garden is one of the more important things you can do when preparing for your organic planting. Mulch, which will inevitably become humus or compost will act as a natural barrier against the elements for your garden, provide water retention in the soil, will protect you against invasions of weeds, and at the very least provide an outward beauty that only this dark brown material can provide. However, all of this is great unless you have no idea how to start your very own mulch pile. This takes a little bit of planning but in the end you will have a fine source of composting material that you can use on your garden when the time comes to plant. Here are a few tips on how you can create a very large and easy to maintain mulch pile for your organic garden.
The amount of waste that everyone accrues on a daily basis is getting worse each and every year. People that eat out a lot probably do not have the same problems that most families face. Feeding four or more people can create quite a bit of waste and much of this might be organically based. Organic waste is the first step in determining whether or not you can have a successful mulch pile. Of course, you need to consider how much area you have to store the mulch, the size of the garden area that you will have to grow your plants in, and of course how much time you will have to use the mulch and tend to your garden. All of these factors weigh in as you determine whether a large or a small old pile is best for you.
The first thing you should do is order off an area of your property where you can begin to place your organic waste. Mulching is actually a very easy thing to do and it can even be helpful especially if you have a large area of upkeep on your property. You can begin by collecting the every day yard waste that most people have. Do you have a lawn that you know on a regular basis? Are you adjacent to a forest or do you have trees on your property that have leaves? If so, you have an ample and free natural supply of organic waste that you can begin to add to your compost pile right away.
Other things that you can use which are related to and or originate from plants are things like sawdust, vegetable and fruit waste from your daily eating, as well as the newspaper that you read every week. By taking this material and shredding it into smaller pieces, you can begin to create a mulch pile in no time at all.
Most people that create a compost pile will pile everything in a large mound and make sure that it has access to sunlight. They will cover this pile with a tarp that is dark in order to absorb as much heat as possible. Heat is a very necessary component in order to get the microorganisms and process is going for the mulching process to begin. Although it is possible to not use a pile and to simply throw this material on top of your existing garden, it would be unsightly and would not be as beneficial to the garden because the composting process will create nutrients that the soil needs to properly feed the plants. If the composting process will take a few weeks or months to occur while sitting on top of the garden, this is time wasted and the nutrients cannot go into the soil because the composting process has not occurred.
One other possibility is to partially compost your material opposed to waiting for the entire process to occur. This will work for people that have not had the time to set up their mulch pile but the process of setting this up is very easy as well. Simply take all of the materials aforementioned, mix the pile regularly in order to aerate the pile so that the microorganisms have ample supply of air. Then, this will inspire the process to occur much more quickly. Also, the larger the pile, the faster the composting process will occur because heat and pressure will be an increased factor.
Before adding the compost to your garden area, you probably do not want to wait for the sticks to decompose. Hard substances such as branches and twigs that are still in the composting material will be your sign as to when to remove the compost and place it on your garden. If you wait too long, waiting for the larger sticks to decompose as well, you may miss all of the benefits of the composting process and also wait too long in order to enrich the soil and protect your crops during the growing season.
If you are seeing this as a lot of work that you do not want to do, but you have access to all of the material mentioned, you can actually apply all of the uncomposted mulch material to the top of the garden and allow it to decompose there. However, this is not as effective as using a mulch pile that is properly prepared months in advance and therefore it is recommended for the benefit of your crops that you apply only composted mulch material.
Also remember to add very thick layers of the material from the mulch pile onto your soil. A little bit will have major effects on preventing weeds from appearing or maintaining even temperatures throughout the soil itself. Think of it as an installation of sorts that can only protect your planting efforts if you use enough to do so. You should also turn your mulch from time to time in order to aerate it even after it has been applied to the surface of the garden. This is to make sure that the composting process continues and will ensure an even distribution of nutrients into the soil as water is applied from about and percolates down under.
One caveat is to not use too many wood products in your mulch as the decomposition time is much longer than on things such as tomatoes or pairs that will decompose in a matter of days. Also consider adding more mulch about halfway through the season in order to make sure that nutrients and protection is consistent throughout the growing time. This is a little bit of extra effort and will require probably another mulch pile, but it ensures that your crops will be as healthy as possible and will not be subject to elemental disasters that may occur. These include the wind blowing away too much mulch, heavy rain storms that wash some of it away. These are all factors that need to be considered and maintained while growing your organic garden plants.
So it is time to get mulching! Gather all of your organic waste and create a schedule for yourself in order to begin your mulch pile. Continually add lawn clippings and old newspapers along with your organic waste from your kitchen and over a period of a couple of months you will have a fine mulch pile that you can begin to use on your organic garden in no time at all.
Chris Dailey is the owner of Composting For Profit and Super Organic Gardening Secrets. You can download more valuable info on how to make a mulch pile as well as the first 5 chapters of his ebook on composting for free. Visit Composting For Profit today!