Green Mulch

Living & Green Mulch: Benefits & Uses of mulching a garden

Living Green Mulch: There are different types of procedures to enrich nutrients and provide nourishing foods to the plants. Living mulch is one kind of them. It is a very natural process to make the cash plant healthy, vigorous, and fit for more productivity. Living mulch provides numerous benefits to the plant as well as the soil. If the main crops in your land are suffering from lack of growth, nutrition, nourishment, and the favorable condition of the soil then using some specific plants as a living mulch should be a better option for you. Living mulch doesn’t offer you not only better crops directly but also makes the environment very supportive of plant growth and development.

If your plants are suffering from various types of diseases, unsustainable weather management, soil erosion causing root damaging problems and you are looking for a natural remedy for your crop plants then you should have a tryout using living mulch as cover plants.

What is living/green mulch/cover crop

Living mulch defines us some kinds of living plants that are used as companion plants to protect main plants or crops by covering the are of soil and supplies a different kind of benefits to the main crops and soil including adding nutrients, enhancing soil porosity, decreasing weeds, protecting main crops from insects, removing diseases, overgrazing, and to enhance root and fruit development, etc.

This is a very natural kind of process and doesn’t hurt or make any kind of damages to your desired crops. There are different kinds of plants you can use as your cover crops and improve easily the development of health and conditions of your cash crops.

living/green mulch/cover crop

Living green mulch plants/cover crop

What kinds of plant you should use as a living mulch?. Before selecting the plants for living mulch remember a thing that they are not your main crops. They are the companion plants only which provides the requirements of what the main crops demand and make the condition of the soil far better than the main crops need.

Some requirements for the plants as a living mulch:

  • The plants must be small or dwarf species
  • They should be shade-loving plants or shade tolerance plants
  • Their growth and population process should go by the rhizome and roots
  • They should be traffic tolerance too
  • They should be lower utilizer of the nutrients
  • They should be weed dominant plants

Benefits and uses of living green mulch/ cover crop

What are the benefits and uses of living mulch? The plants are used as a living mulch can provide us different types of facilities that could be very much helpful for our cash crops. Let’s take a glance at them:

Builds organic materials

The main and most important use for living mulch is to provide organic material to the soil. Building organic material to the soil can lower your cost for using fertilizer. Chemicals fertilizer that we generally use to improve our crops are not only harmful to the environment but also sometimes toxic to the plants. As regards the living mulch can be defined as a natural fertilizer for the plants.

Hold water in the ground

This is another vital role of a living mulch is that it can hold water in the soil even in the acute temperature or unfavorable condition of hot weather. Cash crops can easily fulfill their demands of water by absorbing it from the supply of living mulch grown under their shade. It also prevents the excess need for watering your crops.

Increase essential elements for plant growth

You will find living much as an enhancer of microelements as well as macroelements for the plant growth. For example, the plant white clover is used as a living mulch that generates nitrogen, potassium, and calcium into the soil. Generally, it is very much known to all that the element nitrogen is very much helpful to the soil for increasing plant growth. Combing with ryegrass this plant also contributes to the significant reduction of greenhouse gases too. The elements that increased in the soil by living mulch are:

  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sulfur
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Boron
  • Zinc
  • Iron

These types of elements provide additional nutrients to the soil which are very much needed for crops for their proper growth.

Remove weeds

Another interesting usefulness of a living mulch is that it deals with various types of weeds grow underneath the main crops. Different types of weeds are removed by living mulch in a land. They compete with the weed plants for nutrients and absorb most of the foods for surviving themselves which leads the weed plant to starve and at last die. Living mulch acts as dominant in the weed plants on land and results in eliminating them.

Related article: Powerful 15 techniques to kill weeds naturally

Protect soil

Commonly, the rain, wind, different reasons for physical damage, and overuses are the condition responsible for soil erosion. The plants that are used as cover crops hold tightly the soil particles by their root which helps the soil from being consumed easily. It is a great capability to cover plants for using them as living mulch.

Related article: How to sterilize soil

Increase nutrients

When you till back into the soil for regrowing the plants then the cover crops act as additional organic materials into the soil. Their decayed parts of the plant body provide extra nutrients for the upcoming crops and their organic material acts as a natural fertilizer to the cash crops. So it can save your money definitely instead of buying chemical fertilizer.

Remove insects

Another benefit of using living mulch as cover crops that it protects the crops from various types of insects. The insect lives under the shade of the crop or makes a dwelling place beside the crop get tripped by the cover plants and can not build their residence home along with their families there anymore.

Protects from various types of diseases

Living mulch underneath the main crops maintain the temperature of the nearest weather of the crops and increase the sustainability of the plant. This makes the main plants healthy, strong, and fit for fighting against different types of diseases. Providing various types of demanding nutrients living mulch increases the vigor and validity of the plants naturally.

Abraham M. Johnson
 

Abraham is a professional gardener and his hobby is indoor and outdoor gardening! He has been gardening for the last 5 years and he loves to decorate the home by gardening as well. Based on his experience with different types of gardens; he is sharing his thought and opinion about various gardens care tips and tools so that a beginner can get started right away. Find him on twitter here. Happy reading!

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