Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Eco-Friendly Mulching: Why is organic mulch beneficial for crops?

Economical as well as environmentally beneficial


The process of covering the crops in the field, bed, garden is called mulching. The thing with which it is covered is called mulch. Generally, farmers use plastic mulch, which is a thin plastic film. This is to protect crops from damage caused by weeds. But by its use, small particles of plastic go into the soil and reduce its fertile power. Its residues also go into the crop, which is not good for health. In such a situation, organic mulching is the best option. This is cheap as well as beneficial in every respect.

Eco-Friendly Mulching
Image Credit: ICAR

What is organic mulching? 

Farmers can use organic mulches to increase the nutrients of the soil. Organic mulch is made from natural materials such as bark, grass clippings, leaves, straw of paddy, millet, maize, barley and wheat for mulching. Organic mulches are very economical, which reduces the cost of cultivation and it helps in increasing the production by improving the nutrients of the soil.

Types of organic mulches 

  • Bark: Bark of wood is an excellent mulch. This is because it can be used for a long time and it has the ability to absorb a large amount of water. Even if it rains more than this, there will be no water logging in the fields and if there is less rain, then the water stored in the blisters will gradually keep the soil moist.
Eco-Friendly Mulching
Image Credit: agricultureguruji
  • Mulch of dry leaves: Mulch made of dry leaves of trees can be used in the beds. It helps in getting more crop by improving the quality of soil. The mulch of leaves does not fly away, so bunches made of dry leaves and small branches of trees are kept on top of them. Mulching is made 3-4 inches thick.
  • Mulching with grass clippings: Farmers cultivating vegetable beds spread grass mulch in the form of a thin layer in the beds. This mulch is very cheap and its material i.e. grass is also easily available. When the grass gets mixed with the soil, the level of nitrogen increases. Both green and dry grass can be used for mulching, but green grass should not be used during the rainy season.
  • Mulching with straw or straw: Mulching can also be made from straw or straw of crops like paddy, wheat, maize, millet and barley. When this sugar gets mixed in the soil, the fertile power of the soil increases. Due to this the production is more. It helps in retaining soil moisture and preventing evaporation. The mulch made from this is 6-8 inches thick.
    Eco-Friendly Mulching
    Image Credit: hybridveggies

    Image Credit: hybridveggies

Benefits of organic mulch 

  • Organic mulching helps in preventing soil erosion and keeping the soil covered prevents weeds from growing.
  • Due to this, the moisture of the soil remains and the seeds germinate quickly. Along with this, the yield also increases.
  • With the use of organic mulch, the roots of the plants also develop well, due to which a good crop is obtained.
  • Helpful in protecting plant roots from fluctuating temperatures.
  • This also saves water, as moisture remains in the field, which does not require much irrigation.
  • By applying organic mulches, the labor and cost of weeding is saved.
  • Pest attack can also be reduced by using organic mulches.
Eco-Friendly Mulching
Image Credit: ICAR

When and how to apply mulch? 

Apply mulch at the end of the rainy season. The soil evaporation is high during rains and mulching will stop this. So apply it after rain. Before applying organic mulch, remove all types of weeds from the field and make sure that the material you are using for weeding is completely seed-free and does not contain any kind of pests. Remove diseased and pest leaves and weeds. 

Also Read: Why Osmanabadi Goat is considered better for meat production?

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