How To Horticulture - Mulching

Mulch is a generic title given to an organic substance spread over a bed to suppress weed growth, it works by creating a barrier to block incoming seeds from reaching the soil and successfully germinating, a mulch will not prevent growth from established plants or from the seeds of weeds that are already in the soil, therefore you will need to keep the bed weeded for a while after applying the mulch until the seed bank has been exhausted.

  1. Clear the site of weeds and debris
  2. Spread the mulch over the site to a depth of approximately 5cm



Many mulches also provide nutrients, minerals and organic matter for established plants, these mulches such as Mushroom compost break down faster and so will need to be re applied more regularly.

A weed suppressant fabric should not be used with a mulch, the mulch will break down over time and so create a suitable place for seeds to germinate on top of the fabric. The fabric will also be in the way if you want to turn the soil on the bed, or add new plants.

Take care around small and woody stemmed plants, excess mulch may lead to rot

Home made compost (SEE COMPOST BIN DIY GUIDE) makes a good mulch, make sure it is well broken down before you spread it onto your beds or you may encourage pests and / or weed growth.



  • Mulch - mulch is generally available in small bags these are relatively more expensive but easier to use and available readily in a wide choice, large cubic metre bags or loose loads will be the cheapest option but threy are potentially messy and harder work, you may want a large tarpaulin or flat boards on your drive for delivery.



  • Wheel barrow
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • boards (if necessary)