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All About Mulching

Let us observe nature cycle, Every tree drops all leaves before summer(Feb-march). To cover land and conserve soil moisture called as mulching by nature.Now we are giving irrigation using bores.why we need mulching? Mulching maintains steady temperature called as microclimate which plants love to grow rigorously.

Mulching is a need because it conserves moisture, provides microclimate and good for soil microbes.But dry straw/leaf mulch was attacked by termites. They are damaging crops also. Some farmers are using plastic sheet mulch.but it is worst idea as it heats soil too much. Turmeric is the best remedy for termites. Grow or sprinkle turmeric.

Dry leaves, newspapers, pebbles, stones, coconut shells, wood chips can be used for mulch. For Paddy cultivation, water 
is used mulch. Mulching protects healthy microbes from exposure to Sunlight where they cannot survive. Mulching prevents weed growth. Note when you use dry mulch, Liquid manures like Jeevamrut are must, else the Carbon and Nitrogen imbalance will make the decomposing dry matters to suck nitrogen from soil making soil deficient in nitrogen.

Mulch means covering soil.manure means mixing in the soil. Mulch is a surface cover to prevent dehydration while green manure is incorporated into the soil. Mulch too acts as green manure over time.

If we use pumpkin (ground crawler) as live mulch(covers land), how it becomes manure.We think only dry mulch will convert into manure.It becomes manure after its useful life is complete if left in-situ. This is what happens in a forest where the leaf litter first acts as a mulch and over time converts to manure.

If leaves of a plant are turning yellow from green.your mulch is sucking all nitrogen from the soil so use nitrogen-rich organic liquids on mulch, Dry leaves should be soaked in liquid manures like jeevamrut for 12 hrs. Then the decomposition takes fast utilising available nitrogen in liquid manure. 30 parts of carbon( dry leaf) require 1part of nitrogen which will take from liquid manure...Or mix 30 part of dry leaf with 1 part of green leaf...cut into pieces mix them and give mulch.Dry leaf mulch is a somewhat difficult process.

Mulching in farms
Mulching is the primary issue, which farmers keeping efforts & money for it.we need to find some easy solution for it.

Three types of legume crop of different duration should be selected for sowing in strips. These could be green gram/mung bean (60 days), cowpea/soybean (120 days) and pigeon pea (160 days).

Green gram will mature in 60 days. After harvesting the pods, the moong residue can be used as mulch around the pigeon pea plants. This will conserve moisture and provide nutrients to the pigeon pea at grain formation stage. Cowpea/soybean will mature in 120 days. The pods should be collected and the residue should be spread out in the empty spaces this can provide about 12–15 quintals of green leaves. Once the pigeon pea sheds its leaves in the field, the bushes should be cut for harvesting.

Benefits of Mulching
Farmers recognise six major benefits in using mulch. Firstly, mulch protects the soil from erosion. Heavy rain is absorbed by the mulch, slowing down the water so that it can penetrate the soil gradually. This means that more water is absorbed by the ground and to a deeper soil depth. Plants then receive more water. Secondly, mulch protects the soil from temperature extremes and evaporation in hot weather. Mulch insulates the soil from both hot and cold temperatures. By using mulch, farmers can decrease the evaporation rate by as much as 40%, a huge saving.

Thirdly, the mulch protects the soil from “baking” in high temperatures and forming a hard crust. This means the soil always remains loose and friable, making ploughing less necessary. The mulched soil is light and rich in humus and organic matter. Fourthly, as mulch stops light from reaching the soil, it discourages the germination of weed seeds. This means there are fewer weeds to remove from the ground, again ensuring water and nutrients go straight to the crops and that there is less work to be done on the farm.

Fifthly, natural mulches will slowly break down and feed the soil with nutrients, increasing the soil fertility. It is like applying a layer of compost across the soil that slowly releases nutrients to the plants. Finally, mulch attracts insects to the soil, as the insects enjoy the moist warm space beneath the mulch that is rich in food.

Drumstick leaves have all nutrients it is very good as food for human as well as for soil as mulch.Not all plants like mulching, mustard cabbage cauliflower don't like mulching because they do not like too much water.Garlic loves moist soil so mulch is needed.

Note: Dry mulch in decomposing process sucks whole nitrogen in the soil.30:1 the ratio of Carbon: Nitrogen should be kept in mind.Weeding is managed through brush cutter and make them as straw mulching.


Don’t do volcano mulch. Volcano mulching is a real problem everywhere. Most roots grow in the top 2 feet of soil so when mulch is applied too heavily, the little feeder roots that are responsible for uptake of water and nutrients from the soil begin to choke. These little roots need oxygen just like we do. Excessive mulch can also cause the formation of a hydrophobic mat; ie. water cannot permeate the mulch, therefore, cannot be absorbed by the root system. Thirsty tree = unhappy, stressed tree.

Some Mulching Types:

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