Mulch is any biological material, such as farm waste, twigs, branches or leaves that is spread over the surface of the soil as a covering and the process of layering the soil with mulch is known as mulching.
Mulching provides several benefits. It helps in the water retention in soil and reduces the amount of water that evaporates from the soil. The mulch acts as an insulating layer and protects the soil from direct sunlight and keeps it cool in summer. Mulch provides the soil with nutrients and thus improves the quality and texture of the soil. Moreover, mulch prevents the weed to grow.
There are various materials that can serve the purpose of mulch:
Dry and fallen leaves are an excellent choice. You can collect all the dried leaves from your garden and then layer them at the base of your plants. While fulfilling all the benefits of mulch they can also act as manure as they decay and disintegrate.
Wood chips & Twigs
Collect the twigs and branches fallen in the park or on the roadside and bring them home. Chop them into pieces with the help of a knife and it becomes a perfect mulch material. Put it at the base of the plants, near the roots.
Cut the grass with the help of a sickle, remember you don’t have to uproot it as grass binds the soil and prevents it from running off. Now put this grass in the plant pit and it will function as a mulch. Once the plant is watered, mulch (grass) can help it retain for the next 10 days.
Waste material (kitchen waste, coconut shells)
Waste material is an ideal mulch. It also acts as manure and adds nutrients and minerals to the soil.