NEWS

Mānuka Mulch Improves Soil Structure for Plant Health

Our native Mānuka brush garden mulch is the ultimate way to protect and enhance your garden. The Mānuka effectively retains moisture so you can use less water plus as the mulch breaks down it becomes an incredibly rich compost which helps to build humus for improved soil balance and structure.

Most gardens have soil that provides something less than the ideal environment for many garden plants. Perhaps it is too sandy or has too much clay to suit the plants you want to grow. Thile changing a soil's basic texture is difficult, you can improve it's structure - making clay more porous, sand more water retentive - by adding amendments.

The best amendment for soil of any texture is organic matter, the decaying remains of plants (such as our Mānuka mulch) and animals (such as horse manure). As it decomposes, organic matter releases nutrients that are absorbed by soil-dwelling microorganisms and bacteria. The combination of these creatures' waste products and their remains, called humus, binds with soil particles. In clay, it forces the tightly packed particles apart; drainage is improved, and the soil is easier for plant roots to penetrate. In sand, it lodges in the large pore spaces and acts as a sponge, slowing drainage so the soil stays moist longer.

Though the particular organic amendment you use is often decided simply by what's available at the best price, many experts favor compost over all other choices. Vegetable gardeners in particular prefer compost, and they often also add plenty of well-rotted manure to their planting beds.

Shredded bark (as found in our Mānuka mulch) and peat moss hold their structure the longest, taking several years to decompose. For new beds it's a good idea to include compost in the mix as well; though it breaks down in just a few months, it bolsters the initial nutrient supply available to soil microorganisms--and these will contribute humus to the soil, improve soil aeration, and help protect your new plants from some diseases.

Another alternative to adding compost in your mix would be to try our Mānuka+Seaweed option which is so much more than a basic garden mulch. The mixed seaweed is packed full of trace minerals, essential nutrients and naturally occurring hormones to encourage plant growth – you can literally see the gorgeous lumps of nutrients mixed in with the Mānuka as you work with this rich, vibrant mulch.