I doubt this will be the most fascinating read you’ve had in a while so I’ll get to the point; if you’re growing food and it’s crazy summer hot, do yourself a favour and throw heaps of mulch around. Preferably on your garden. Particularly in Brisbane where we’ve had weather extremes from fry-an-egg-on-the-road heat followed by flash flood inspired downfalls. Mulching keeps the moisture in the soil which reduces the need for watering and keeps the soil temperature more constant. It is essential for good soil health, prevents soil erosion and weeds from growing (and me wasting my life pulling out nut grass). So so important….mulch, mulch, mulch all year round! Don’t forget to re-mulch and keep everything topped up.
There are many different types of mulch and favourites for veg gardens are usually sugar cane, lucerne and pea straw. I use organic sugar cane (organic mulch breaks down to lovely matter for great soil health) as it’s cheaper and available. I lay it on pretty thick (probably a large handful width-about 7cm) and this seems to do the trick. Mulch after watering and keep mulch clear of plant stems, especially young seedlings. It also looks very neat and tidy so you can pretend you’re a super organised gardener that has it together. Another mulch benefit includes kitty crowd control; deterring my cats from using garden beds as kitty litter. Unsavoury but harsh reality in gardening life.
In slightly more uplifting news, I cannot wait to start my permaculture design certificate course this month at the wonderful Northey Street City Farm in the heart of Brissie. I’ve been dying to do it for ages but had to get that pesky masters degree out of the way. Permaculture (defined by Graham Bell) “is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of the landscape with people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.” Check out the principles below :: Jem x