Allotment update – soil quality plastic v mulch

Hi everyone, quick allotment update. Sunshine all day today so we finished off the wood chip mulch under the apple trees.

As it’s taken us about a month to complete. Working slowly is good for my health and also the days have been short and the weather has been bad!

I thought now would be a good time to see if the mulch is working and compare the soil quality.

Plastic and soil quality

In the patch we did today, which has been under plastic sheeting the whole time, there were literally no worms or insects at all.

Wood chip mulch and soil quality

In the first patch we added the mulch layer too (which has had a month to recover) there were really promising improvements.

I found several worms in the sample spot and the soil just looked better. I’m no expert but it looked more lively and lush, it was crumbly and seemed to have more air in it, a less heavy structure.

While we aren’t growing crops in this area, it’s proven to me that mulching is going to be helpful and motivated me to do more of this before we start planting!

 

Plastic better than no mulch at all

While I think the wood chip has done a better job than the plastic, and is more eco-friendly too – by far the worst soil on the allotment is the parts left bare. They were hard, grey, dry, fragile and also had no insects/worms. So I am glad the previous owner left most areas covered.

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