Fertilising with different types of mulching material
Humans have always borrowed from nature and we are continuing this tradition in the case of mulching. Take a walk in the woods on an autumn day and you'll see that the ground is covered with fallen branches, leaves and pine needles. Underneath this layer is ideal fertile soil ‒ moist, loose and humus-rich earth. We make use of this same natural process in our own gardens when mulching.
Humus does the work for you
When you cover your flower beds and plants with mulch, you are saving yourself a lot of work in the long run thanks to the optimum growing conditions that it creates. You have to water less frequently, the fertilising has already been done and there's no need to loosen the ground ‒ this job is done for you by the tiny creatures that inhabit the soil. An added bonus is the prevention of weeds. Without light and with no way of taking root, life is made difficult for this unwelcome garden growth.
You should mulch all year round, although this is especially important in the autumn. The mulching material protects the soil against frost and provides valuable nutrients for regeneration.
Different types of mulching material
You can, of course, buy lots of different types of mulching material, ranging from bark mulch to sawdust. However, we would like to focus here on the "waste" ‒ which is actually something of a misnomer in this case ‒ that we produce in our gardens, such as shredded wood, grass clippings and leaves.
Woody shredding material
Woody shredding material is perfect for use under hedges and trees that have taken root. It also provides a good surface for paths. However, because wood produces high levels of nitrogen as it decomposes, decomposition actually slows down the growth of mulched plants. Unless you are intentionally trying to restrict the growth of certain plants, we recommend that you use grass clippings here instead.
Grass clippings are extremely versatile. They can be taken directly from the grass catcher box and are suitable for use in all areas. When using clippings on flower beds and plants, the layer should be no more than 3 cm thick. This restriction doesn't apply to lawns, however. If you wish to mulch here, we recommend using a special VIKING mulching mower, which cuts the grass perfectly and distributes it evenly.
You should pay attention to the type of leaves that you are mulching. Not all leaves are suitable. Leaves from birch, maple, beech and all types of fruit tree can be used freely. Leaves from walnut, horse chestnut and oak trees should, however, only be used in small quantities and mixed with other leaves for mulching. The reason for this is tannic acid, which is difficult to break down and has a negative impact on the nutritional balance in the soil.
Tip for fruit and vegetable patches: Use your biodegradable waste and mature compost for your fruit and vegetable garden to produce a bountiful harvest.