We all know how important it is to mulch the garden heavily over the hot seasons to keep life and moisture in the soil but have you grown enough to keep you supplied in the garden or will you be running to Bunning’s and spending loads of money unnecessarily? A bale of straw, Lucerne or other will set you back between $15 to $20 these days and that’s a lot of money to spend when you don’t need to. Why not reduce your inputs and grow your own?
Here at PSI we have mulch heaven. All plants can make mulch and compost and there are many plants in our gardens and around us that we can chop and drop. Some of my favorite mulches we grow at PSI include:
Azolla – a floating fern for my pot plants, ponds and veggie garden. The quails and other poultry and animals also like to eat this. Sugar cane, arrowroot, banana leaves, banna grass and acacia for the food forest swale mounds. Each year when the frost has gone these get a good chop and drop on the mounds in the food forest. They protect the mounds from the chooks scratching them up and provide habitat for lizards and frogs. They break down into fruitful fluffy mulch and eventually soil and they grow up again in time to protect the trees and plants from next years frost. Sugar cane and other grasses don’t take up too much space and can fit even in the smallest gardens and chook pens. There are a range of other plants like palms, ferns and most ornamentals that make great mulching material so ditch the green bin and save yourself some money and cycle those nutrients back into the garden as compost and mulch.
The grasses on the left are chopped to the ground when high after the frost to form the mulch on the right that protects the swale mounds and trees from scratching poultry. This over the year breaks down to form the most wonderful mulch and soil like above. We never need to buy mulch again. Permaculture in action – permanent agriculture.