1 week ago
Notes on soil and mulch:
“Soil separates” are the particle size of the soil (1. Sand- largest 2. Silt-medium 3. Clay- smallest). “Soil texture” is the %’s of the 3 soil separates within a soil. For California native plants, having the most natural soil possible is usually preferable and limit any amendments until you really know your soil’s condition. Perhaps conduct a soil test to find out what you’re dealing with. Also, soil can actually be healed!
Mulching helps control weeds, allows soil to breath, and slowly releases nutrients. Usually you’ll be fine with just adding a 3 inches of mulch with Cal natives. There are several different types of mulch, first find out what is appropriate for your *plant community. There is “organic” and “inorganic” types of mulch. Communities that require inorganic mulches (boulders, gravel, sand): Coastal strand, Grassland, Riparian, Desert. Plant communities that require organic mulches (shredded redwood bark): Coastal sage scrub, Chaparral, Oak woodland, Redwood forest.
A side note that often gets overlooked is there are certain types of native bees that like to nestle into top soil. When we blanket our entire yard with mulch, that’s detrimental to another vital pollinator. Try only covering the necessary areas. Lastly, if you or your gardener finishes maintenance with a leaf blower, be very careful not to blow away that precious top soil! Always blow back into the yard. *Check out previous post for info on plant communities.
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