WHAT IS A MULCH COVER?
A mulch cover is one of nature’s finest prophylactics against pests and environmental harm.
Some would even argue that, in nature, mulch is the very first of the different layer of soil. In other words, mulch is such an integral part of a healthy environment for plants, that it can be seen in nature where it covers and protects the soil beneath it.
A mulch cover supports the microbial activity in your soil. It ‘covers’ it with an essential top layer, which assists in maintaining healthy conditions. It keeps the soil humid, and prevents water from evaporating too quickly. A mulch cover also keeps the top layer of the soil cool, allowing the roots of your plant to grow closer to the surface. The top layer of soil is usually warm and dry because of exposure to the sun (or grow lights), and your plant’s roots will seldom be comfortable to explore it.
Mulch also assists greatly in keeping pests at bay. The fungus gnat, for example, is unable to lay eggs in the top layer of soil if there is a mulch cover in its way. For more information on fungus gnats, please see the section on fungus gnats.
There are endless ways of creating a mulch cover. Essentially, a mulch cover can be defined as the “covering of the top layer of soil”. Below is a list of all the different types of mulch cover that can be used for your cannabis plants.
Find one that works best for you and the set-up of your grow.
- Green mulch
Green mulch is better suited for more experienced gardeners. It consists mainly of insects and dead leaves, and provides a slow release of food for the ‘healthy’ bacteria in your soil. Green mulch is best used during the vegetative phase of your cannabis plant. It can affect the PH of your soil if you get it wrong, so be careful.
- Brown mulch
Brown mulch is made up of sticks, twigs and other dead plant matter. It attracts fungi due to its acidity. A correct mulch balance is integral to maintaining the ideal PH. Brown mulch is best used during the flowering phase of your cannabis plant.
- Plastic mulch
‘Plasticulture’ is a real thing. It involves the covering of the ground surrounding your plants with plastic.
Now usually we wouldn’t support the use of plastics – at all. Here at Just Cannabis we strive to be eco-friendly at all times. Even the packaging of our soil is made with 100% biodegradable ‘plastic’!
A very clever patron, however, recently changed our minds when he used the packaging bags of the Just Cannabis soil to create his own mulch covers. Genius!
- Organic materials
By now you’re starting to get the hang of it. Making a mulch cover is really quite simple. Organic materials such as pine straw, grass clippings, leaves, and wood chips are popular.
Truly, we saved the best for last. Our favorite type of mulch cover is extremely simple and highly effective. Use small stones (5-6mm) to create a mulch layer on top of your soil – not more than 5cm thick. This type of mulch dries extremely fast, keeping the soil beneath it moist and fresh.