How Mulching Can Improve Your Soil Structure

Healthy and structurally sound soils are as complex as they are fertile. A good soil structure should consist of a sufficient amount of minerals.

It is important to know what minerals are in your soil, which can be determined by performing a simple soil test. Depending on what you intend to use the soil for, you’ll want different quantities of different minerals.

As well as minerals, a good soil structure should contain earthworms, fungi and bacteria. The soil should not be hard and powdery; but moist and fragile. This way, the soil is permeable for the roots of plants to reach the nutrients they need. Plants that easily reach deep into a good soil structure will be less susceptible to disease and pests than those that have to fight for every centimetre. If your soil does not resemble the structurally healthy soil described, it is not being properly mulched with organic matter.

Why Organic Matter?

Soil without organic matter covering is vulnerable to drying out, erosion, and the growth of weeds.


What is Mulch?

Mulch is organic material placed on the surface of the soil (often the cut grass itself). It reduces the likelihood of weeds, fights soil erosion, and improves soil structure by providing the necessary nutrients.


Improving Soil Structure:

Moisture Retention

Mulching can improve soil structure and health in numerous ways. Because mulch is material laying on the soil’s surface, it reduces evaporation, retaining moisture. Moist soil reduces soil erosion and the growth of weeds.

Habitat Maintenance

Mulching also provides the perfect temperate habitat for earthworms and other organisms to feed on the decomposing mulch and create nutrients for the plants. Moreover, it is not just earthworms whose habitat it is beneficial to maintain ground beetles, and centipedes are also important for controlling pests.

Continued Viability

Most energy stores in the grass are held close to their roots. Thus, cutting the grass does not sacrifice this energy. As the mulch on the surface of the freshly cut grass serves as feed for the grass to regrow, the energy stores are, in effect, heightened. Therefore, if you employ a pasture rotation strategy for grazing animals or crops, you can be assured that each time you return to a resting pasture, it will be as viable as before.

Irrigation

Mulching allows for steady infiltration of runoff and irrigation as the mulch is a protective shield from heavy rain. This means the soil can attain the right amount of water over long periods rather than rely on unpredictable downfalls.


The Importance of Mulching Machines

Mulching is essential to maintaining a healthy soil structure – and the importance of mulching machines, like flail mowers, has been well documented – but how do you know which one to choose? Check out our article:

 

WHAT SIZE MULCHER DO YOU NEED? SELECTING THE RIGHT AG EQUIPMENT

At Southern Cross Ag Machinery, we pride ourselves on offering quality farming equipment that is reliable, built for Aussie conditions and competitively priced. Southern Cross Ag Machinery has been importing and distributing tractor implements (including mulchers) for over 20 years.

Feel free to contact us with any questions on Mulchers or how mulching can benefit your property. We only sell our Mulchers through our extensive Australia Wide Dealer Network. Find your nearest mulcher dealer.

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