Pros and Cons of Mulching Fruit Trees You Should Know

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Mulching is the act of covering your soil around the vegetables and plants that you wish to protect while they’re growing.

The pros and cons of mulching fruit trees – some mulches are capable of adding organic matter to the soil. Some mulches insulate tree roots – thus keeping them cooler in the summer. Mulches also reduce soil and attract pests – like rabbits.

The Pros Are:

• Mulches repress weed growth

• Mulches keep moisture – which is beneficial in hot summers

• Mulches lessen soil erosion- this is helpful during winters and heavy rain

• Mulches can protect crops from too much heat temperatures- useful in early and late crops

• Organic mulches produce soil nutrients, and this leads to beneficial soil organisms and produces worm activity.

• Mulches are suitable for crop rotting prevention (like strawberries) by just pulling them off the ground.

• Lessen soil compaction

• It will keep fruit clean

• Protection from cold weather during the fall season

• It offers a clean surface and a pleasant one that would give care to your plants and for harvesting fruit

The Cons Are:

• Mulches can be a habitat for pests, but good organic practices will prevent pests from going near.

• Utilization of organic mulches needs to be utilized in a state that is loose or having partially rotted or in its first stages of decomposition.

If not done this will lead to nitrogen deprivation taken from the soil or turns too acidic, and it damages the pants that are supposed to shield.

• An organic mulch needs to be quite thick- usually 1 to 3 inches of thickness that is placed around plants; it requires more if the mulch rots down into small amounts.

Mulching does not require a date when to practice this can be done any time of the year.

But, if you want an impactful effect for the improvement of your plant growth, this is attained when mulch is applied in June.

This is after the soil begins to warm up. And when you mulch in July, you can also expect a good result.

When your intention of mulching is for winter protection, this should be done in November. This is when several touches of frost have been experienced.

Wood chips, sawdust, grass clippings, hay, straw are organic materials that are common mulching materials.

Take note that these should have a depth of 2 to 6 inches and cover the ground around the plant that is out to the drip line. Black plastic is usually used for vegetable production.

A newspaper and ay paper products can be applied in heavy metal content, but with many inks, this will result in undesirable choices.

Mulch offers a good environment for desirable for plants to grown. This may result in plants growing late into the fall, which leads to prone to injury during winter.

Mulch is also prone to mice habitat because it’s conducive for mice to live at. The result of mice living in your mulch will be horrible because mice can damage your plant.

After all, it will eat the plant’s roots. So to solve this problem, many trees in late august should be pulled away.

If tree growth is minimized, mice will eventually decide to move to other places with many trees because this makes them feel protected.

Be aware that mulch that has a high carbon to nitrogen ratio (such as wood chips, sawdust) will cause nitrogen deficiency in plants.

The bacteria that cause these materials down consume nitrogen. Thus mulch that has nitrogen will feed the bacteria, thus leading to the deprivation of plants’ vital elements.

The best way to counteract this problem is to compost these materials until a breakdown starts to appear. The sawdust requires a year or two years. And making a supplemental application a fertilizer that is water-soluble high in nitrogen doesn’t work well also.

Pros Of Mulching a Tree

• It helps in conserving soil moisture

• Moist soil is beneficial because it helps the trees grow strong and healthy.

• It helps in the preservation of rainwater, so you need to water it less

• It reduces monthly water bills

When sunlight hits the trees, the soil surface heats up, resulting in water to start evaporating and causing the roots to die. As mulch reduces exposure to the sun, the soil will insulate, and this won’t dry it out the earth.

When a layer of mulch is put in place,  it will help in reducing the moisture loss due to the sun

Cons of Knowing The Right Mulch To Choose

• A lot of people don’t know the composition of their soil

• The cheapest mulch is usually low in quality

• A good mulch is not easy to find

Fruit Crops Recommendation

• Strawberries

Mulch strawberries in mid-November using straw or pine needles for protection during winter.

Take out mulch at the top of plants and distribute it again around plants and between its rows in April to assure berries are clean when they are ripening. It reduces fruit rot and cools the soil ad fruit ripen.

• Raspberries

Hay or straw is much advantage when used to a newly planted plants. A routine application after the first year of using mulch is not recommended.

• Blueberries

You should mulch yearly with partially composted sawdust or wood chips. Take note that this should be mulched annually to sustain a 4-foot strip wide and at least the inched of its deep is 6.

• Pears, Apples, Peaches, Plums, And Cherries

These tree fruits should be mulched in the drip line, having 6 to 8 inches of straw or hay in May. And reapplication of mulch should be applied periodically and take away from trees at the end of August or in the early of September.

Doing this will allow tress to harden off and minimize mouse existence around the tree.

• Grapes

Grapes are not usually mulched because of their very deep root. When they are mulched because of the intention to control weeds, you should treat them like tree fruit.

Excellent horticultural technique mulching has which is advantageous to all plants in the garden and very beneficial during dry periods. So in desiring for productive growth to your plants do mulching.

Things To Consider Before Mulching Trees

• Advantage it lowers the risk of damage to the lower parts of the tree

• This is great if your tree is not located in a large garden

• You should not cover the roots that are on the ground

• Don’t overuse mulching

The first reason why mulching is excellent is that it serves as a protection to the base of your tree, which happens to be the vulnerable part of the yards.

Putting mulch can prevent many problems such as infestation, tree death, and diseases.

• On the other hand, the con is that an unhealthy root that is secondary may occur

• A secondary root it can make your garden difficult when you are working on it

• It also occupies more space and can cause damage

• This usually happened in transplanted trees

Secondary roots systems are not all the time an issue, but they can be a problem, and this happens when they start to occur in trees.

It can start to lessen the nutrients from your trees, and you will notice a portion of it dies or change in its colors. Fixing this problem is not easy because it requires skill and time.

Some secondary roots are not bad at all. They are small that can give a lot of nutrients. Take note that they need looser soil for it to move and be healthy.

In avoidance of this, kept away the mulch from the tree trunk because this will help the soil regain its moisture and its temperature.

Add organic regularly to lessen the soil compaction that is in the soil or air gas in this exchange.

Mulching can be done in different ways: an organic matter (straw or leaf mold, woodchip) can be put around your plants. As a result, they will rot down to the soil that would improve its structure.

For an alternative, sheet mulches are appropriate to practice (such as permeable black plastic or cardboard).

You can also use a permanent material (such as stones, gravel, or slate), but take note the latter is only typically used for ornamental purposes are has law maintenance.

Final Thoughts

Mulching is a practice to boost the variety of natural processes that would encourage growth and mitigate the harmful effect of weeds. Mulching is recommended in all organic textbooks, and it is simple to practice in any garden system.

We have always believed in mulching, when and where necessary. It serves a good purpose and even if it does attract unwanted attention from pests, it’s nothing you can’t deal with.

Maybe we’ve given you something to consider in the above discussion – or at least piqued your interest sufficiently for you to give mulching a try. You’ll be well pleased with the happy results!

Jenny Marie
Tribal Writer

Edited By
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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