Contributed by: hopefulgrower
Mulching is a good way of conserving soil moisture, especially in the summer.
A Mulch is any soil covering which protects surface roots and reduces evaporation. The best mulches consist of fine, loose materials that allow water to run through to the soil, and also allow air exchange to the soil and roots.
Most mulches decompose rapidly, leaching their nutrients back into the soil. Composting the mulch before it is applied can help speed up the process, or by adding a small amount of fertilizer. Most mulches will completely break down with one year.
The depth of the mulch varies. For finer mulch, less is needed and for coarser mulches more is needed. (2-8cm,) is the average depth for mulching.
Some benefits of mulching:
~ Mulching maintains a more even soil temperature and also helps prevent the soil from freezing over. In colder climates, mulching can keep longer flowering strains (like sativa's which typically take longer to finish) alive for that extra week or so needed.
~ Mulching your plants not only saves water, but also saves how often you have to water your plants.
~ Mulches release nutrients into the soil slowly.
~ Decreases wind exposure to the surface roots.
~ Mulches can actually release heat as they break down through microbial activity.
~ A light colored mulch can reflect sunlight, reducing soil temps and evaporation.
~ Good camouflage
~ A deep pile of mulch can suffocate surface roots
~ Dont let the mulch dry out too much ; the mulch surface can become hydrophobic and any water/rain applied to the mulch will simply run off.]
Here are some of the best mulches to use:
~ Garden Compost
~ Tree leaves (deciduous)
~ Dry Lawn clippings
~ Well rotted animal manure
~ Straw, Lucerne hays
~ Tan or pine bark
~ Saw dust, (not recommended during flowering, can stick to the buds)
For permanent mulches:
(Since marijuana is an annual plant, these are not necessary to use.)
~ Mineral substances
~ Crushed stones
~ Pebbles / Sand / Gravel