In Australia – what are the best mulches to use in the home garden and how do I apply them?

In Australia, there are several types of mulches that are suitable for home gardens, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common mulches and how to apply them. It is important to note that mulch will take Nitrogen from your soil so it is best to feed your plants before mulching.

  1. Organic mulches: Organic mulches like straw, grass clippings, shredded leaves, and bark are ideal for home gardens. They help to conserve soil moisture, suppress weeds, and improve soil fertility as they break down over time. To apply, spread a 5-7cm layer of mulch over the soil surface, taking care not to bury the stems or foliage of plants. There are many mulches available so ask your Garden Centre for advice when buying.
  2. Gravel and pebbles: Gravel and pebbles are a popular choice for garden paths and decorative areas. They do not break down like organic mulches and do not need to be replenished as frequently. To apply, spread a layer of gravel or pebbles over the soil surface to a depth of 5-7cm.
  3. Newspaper or cardboard: Newspaper or cardboard can be used as a temporary mulch to smother weeds and improve soil structure. To apply, lay sheets of newspaper or cardboard over the soil surface, overlapping the edges to prevent weeds from growing through.

When applying mulch, it is important to avoid covering the stems or foliage of plants, as this can encourage pests and diseases. It is also important to leave a small gap around the base of plants to allow air circulation and prevent moisture build up. Finally, remember to top up the mulch layer as needed to maintain a depth of 5-7cm. NB: Ask your local Garden Centre for advice before buying any mulches.

If you have any queries, please contact your local Independent Garden Centre. 

© Garden Centres Association Australia

Fresh detox drink, glass with lemonade and mint.
Fresh detox drink, glass with lemonade and mint.