Keeping your lawn lush and healthy throughout Victoria’s changing seasons can require quite a bit of work, but it’s work well-spent. No matter the amount of proper mowing and watering you do, however, soil deficiencies or excesses of particular minerals can hold your lawn back from achieving its full potential in our often harsh, dry climate.
That’s where mulch can help. Of course, you’ve got a choice when it comes to caring for your lawn and its underlying soil. Chemical fertilisers and products, when used properly, can save a lawn from the brink of dying out or restore the soil to a healthy nutrient level when no amount of mowing and aerating will do, but mulches are an excellent alternative to treat your soil naturally.
What’s a Mulch?
Mulch is a protective layer of material placed on the surface of a soil to protect, improve, and beautify the soil (and thus the lawn) over time. Most of the commonly-used mulches are made of organic material, although some synthetic mulches do exist as well, often made of rubbers or plastics.
When it comes to lawncare, mulches are often made of grass clippings and leaves. The leaves are used along with grass because grass alone is quite dense and too much applied to the lawn can really suffocate it and lead to decay and rot – not what you want. This less dense mixture is ideal since it provides adequate aeration whilst providing all of the benefits of being natural and organic.
Can’t I Just Mulch My Own Lawn?
Of course you can! We recommend that homeowners mow their lawn frequently and properly (refer to our blog for guides on how to mow properly). The grass clippings produced by many modern lawnmowers gets fed into a bag and its contents taken to the kerb – break this habit and instead use these clippings to feed your lawn. Leaving grass clippings behind, in moderation, may look a little messy at first, but your lawn will love you all the more for this natural mulch and grow stronger and healthier as a result.
Why Do I Need to Mulch Anyway?
A freshly-mowed lawn without grass clippings or mulch left behind may look nice and pretty, but it’s also high-maintenance and lacks any sort of protection from the midday sun or weed and spore infestations, for example. Mulch provides your lawn with five main benefits:
- Conservation of soil moisture levels: not too little, not too much. Mulch allows some permeation of rainfall but prevents excessive downpours from drowning out the roots.
- Increased soil fertility: a healthier lawn can better resist the rigours of Australia’s dry and sometimes harsh climate better than one sitting on a soil deprived of nutrients.
- Reduced weed growth: much like how locusts and other insects thrive in monocultural farming, weeds will thrive on lawns without mulch due to lack of floral diversity. Mulch provides protection and reduces weed infestations.
- Enhanced appeal: lawns fed by a natural mulch will grow strong and healthy, so they’ll also be full of colour and look great through the seasons, too.
- Cost-effective treatment: grass clippings should be pretty easy to come by – your own lawn produces them as you mow!
Want to get your soil mulched naturally and professionally? Give us a ring at Gardening Angels and our green team will be happy to care for your lawn.