Mulch offers a cheap and
efficient way to reduce weeding and water use, and increase
soil fertility, crop yield, and crop range.
Sartenejan region is subject to an extended dry season from March to June, with the maximun days
without rain recorded as 102. The use of mulch during this period greatly reduces water stress and
increases plant growth through reducing evaporation and increasing water availability
by encouraging roots to live near the soil
makes fruit trees like avacardos, mamay, soursop, or mangos, and ornamental and timber trees,
grow faster and stronger and have higher fruit yields. Mulch reduces weed growth and provides
nutrients. Mulch also
adds humus to the soil, which provides nutrients and encourages soil animals that keep the soil in
Mulch can be a dry mulch or
Dry mulch is rotting down vegetable
matter. Mulch is often made by stacking the vegetable matter in large piles, then adding to trees
and the garden later.
On Balam Ja
Way when chopping we stacked the bushes into
piles. This is quick and efficient way to make dry mulch. In our orchard and garden areas we simply
throw any vegetation for mulching directly under the trees in a 3 to 5 foot circle. The increase in
growth is remarkable with avocado trees growing vigorously even during moderate
Any reasonable size vegetation, up to chopped small tree branches,
can be applied directly as mulch piles under trees. However, to apply mulch to vegetable crops it must be left to rot into smaller
Within a year in the tropical climate
bushes have mostly are rotted down (composted). A garden fork can then be used a fork to separate
the larger unrotted branches from the smaller mulch. The unrotted branches are simply added to new
Dry mulching not only returns the
nutrients from the leaves and branches to the soil but also makes new
bacteria rotting the wood and leaves takes nitrogen from the air and makes it into nitrogen
The larger branches in dry mulch are
slow to rot and make the mulch last longer.
Living mulch is generally a crop
interplanted or undersown with a main crop, usually trees, and intended to serve the functions of
weed suppression, maintenance and increase in soil fertility, and lowering of soil
Living mulch requires and uses water
and without irrigation is useful only during the wet season.
Many plants cannot fix nitrogen and
rely on nitrogenous fertiliser from rotting vegetation. However. some plants are very good at fixing nitrogen
including many legumes such as beans, hicima, etc.
Nitrogen fixing living mulches work in
- Take nitrogen from the air and makes it into fertiliser for
the main crop.
- Recycle soil nutrients.
- Increase soil nutrient availability for the main
A special type of living mulch is the
use of small trees where branches are cut occasionally for dry mulch to place around developing
ornamenatals or orchard trees.
Please refer to the Wikipedia site on Living and other