By: Ellaine Kryss Hubilla
Home gardening is a fun activity. However, it might be a challenge if the garden soil is not fertile enough. Fortunately, there is an easy way to fix this problem.
The Agriculture Training Institute (ATI) Home of e-Extension in the Philippines recently shared on their Facebook page a solution on how to treat problems caused by soil infertility.
According to the post, “Mulching is used to protect soil from erosion by helping retain soil moisture, suppressing weeds, improving soil texture, and encouraging beneficial soil organisms.”
Based on rhs.org.uk’s article, the link which was cited in the post, this process can be done by using mulches, which are loose biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials that will cover the surface of the soil. For biodegradable materials such as green manure, leaf mold, and compost, the breakdown of these materials will release beneficial nutrients to the soil, which may help improve its structure. If the materials are fully rotten, they must be replaced immediately.
On the other hand, the non-biodegradable materials like slate, shingle, and pebbles do not improve the soil structure—however, it helps in preventing weeds from growing around the soil, helps in retaining moisture that lessens the amount of time spent in watering, and also serves as an added decoration to the plants.
ATI Home of e-Extension in the Philippines also included the application of mulch, which can be applied by simply spreading it on the surface of the soil around plantings or established beds.