When mulch is added to a clay soil, a positive change will take place over time. The soil composition is modified to allow for improved aeration and drainage while also working in fibrous materials to loosen up compacted clay. As the mulch slowly decomposes, the soil beneath is kept cooler, minimizing weed growth and improving the clay soil composition. A big plus to consider is in a thoroughfare situation the bottom of your shoes tend to stay cleaner as the mulch protects your shoes from clay exposure! Here are some great mulch options to use on clay soil. A well-mulched garden will result in happier and healthier plants.
Readily available, hardwood chips have a high carbon content which requires some nitrogen from the soil during decomposition. (this should only be used as a surface mulch). When used as a mulch, hardwood chips will slowly breakdown when moisture is added and will break down due to encouraging
the natural beneficial work of earthworms and soil microorganisms. This process slowly enriches the soil and the wood chips should be replenished as required.
Alternatively, routinely applying native mulch which is less expensive than hardwood chip to clay soil also helps to restore nutrients to these types of soil areas. It is non-toxic, helping also to release carbon back into the soil. Applying the mulch to clay soil in garden areas helps to protect the soil from pests such as white ants and cockroaches. Trees growing in areas of native and forest mulch have a tendency for greater trunk growth, healthier root systems and an increase in minerals which help to accelerate growth.
The worms and soil microorganisms found in the clay soil help to decompose the organic Native mulch and the tiny soil particles are joined with the organic matter into larger clumps creating increased space in the soil. You should optimally spread organic material 3-10cm thick, and dig it into a depth of around 15-20cm. Do not overwork or compact the soil.
Further benefits of adding mulch to clay soil
By adding a regular layer of mulch to clay soil you not only help keep the house clean with less soil trodden inside, but you can also reduce the number of weeds. Mulch will smother weeds that germinate and enhance the amount of moisture that your soil retains leading to better plant growth. Mulch also slows down water run-off allowing clay soil more time to absorb and store the water. A layer of mulch is also cooler than exposed soil so it helps reduce temperatures in the garden. Bonville Landscape Supplies covers all of your mulching needs. If you aren’t sure which type to pick, we can advise you on the right type of mulch for your particular soil type. Check out all of our mulch offerings! We can load your ute, trailer or truck. We also offer a delivery service and complimentary box trailer hire.