Mulch, which material to choose?

Formulchwe mean that material used for the agricultural practice ofmulch. Definition and meaning "mulch": natural or artificial material used to cover the ground in the technique of mulch.

The most used materials formulch
Mulchartificial non biodegradable: polypropylene, polyethylene and various plastics

Polypropylene has a shelf life of 5 - 8 years, is not biodegradable, easy to find and heats the ground. From an agricultural point of view, it has the disadvantage that it does not always allow rainwater infiltration or optimal rain irrigation, therefore its use is recommended with drip irrigation.


The durability of polyethylene depends on the thickness and shape of the sheet. A 0.05 cm sheet lasts a maximum of a couple of years. Polyethylene is not biodegradable and like the previous plastic material, it heats the ground. Its use is available only in conjunction with drip irrigation.

Mulchbiodegradable artificial: corn starch cloths, newspaper sheets

Corn starch sheets
The corn starch sheets have a short duration: they begin to tear after 3-4 months, they are biodegradable and can be buried at the end of the crop. Also in this case, the soil is heated and irrigation is possible only by drop.

Sheets of newspapers
Theremulchwith cellulose has several advantages. Newspaper sheets can be recycled for seasonal and annual crops. They last up to one year and can be mixed with straw, bark, dry grass or other biodegradable materials. It must be associated with a drip irrigation system.

Other Organic mulch, straw, dry grass, dry leaves, bark ...

Those who do not intend to install a drip irrigation system can use straw. Straw is a material consisting mainly of lignin, cellulose and other natural compounds. It is perfect for seasonal or annual crops to be sprinkled or drip irrigated.

Given the large amount of cellulose present, straw does not heat the soil, therefore it is preferable to use it in spring and summer crops.


Dry leaves and bark
As well as straw, dry leaves and bark do not heat the soil, they allow both rain and drip irrigation. Dried leaves are very popular with terrestrial fauna such as earthworms and millipedes which can bring structural and fertility improvements to the soil.

At the link there is our guide article "how to mulch a vegetable garden ".

Video: Choosing Bark Mulches (January 2022).