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Mulch your way to a greener planet

by Tania Griffin

The Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance and yet globally we are experiencing the almost daily devastation wreaked by accelerated climate change.

Even the smallest effort on our part – from recycling, reusing and reducing our use of plastic items to planting a bee-friendly garden or mulching – can make a massive difference.

“We cannot remain apathetic and leave future generations to deal with the problem,” says Divan Vermaak, Husqvarna’s business development manager: Agriculture, Veld Management & Silent Nature. “If we don’t all take action and do our bit now, the question becomes: what will be left of the Earth for our children and grandchildren to enjoy? 

“Husqvarna is fully committed to the conservation of our environment and to helping raise awareness among communities, and Earth Day is yet another way we can show our support and encourage others to join the fight to save our planet,” he adds.

Earth Day is a global event that takes place annually on 22 April and in which more than one billion people take part. It aims to highlight and draw attention to the huge environmental problems our planet is facing and to galvanise people to act and play their part in its protection.

“Mulching, for example, is often linked to Earth Day because it is a sustainable gardening practice that can help reduce waste and conserve resources,” comments Vermaak. “Even if you are not an avid gardener, the simple act of mulching is an easy way to contribute to environmental sustainability.”

What is mulching? 

Mulching is the process of covering soil with a layer of material or vegetation such as fallen leaves, grass cuttings, tree bark and pine needles to protect it and provide the soil with nutrients.

Why should you mulch? 

Mulching can contribute to a more sustainable and fertile garden by reducing water usage, improving soil health, reducing waste, suppressing weeds and preventing soil erosion. It is an easy and effective way to support the health of your garden and minimise your environmental impact.

How do you create mulch?

Leaves can be turned into mulch when mowing the lawn, as the lawnmower will cut them into small pieces and, mixed with the grass cuttings, will provide you with free organic mulch to spread over your lawn and beds. Here’s how:

  • Adjust your lawnmower: Adjust your lawnmower’s cutting height before mowing to ensure the grass is not cut too short, which can damage the lawn.
  • Mow: Start mowing your lawn in a regular pattern, going back and forth in straight lines. As you mow, the leaves and grass clippings will be chopped into smaller pieces. If you have a lot of leaves on your lawn, you may need to mow over them several times to ensure they are chopped into small enough pieces to break down easily.
  • Let the mulch settle: After mowing, you can either rake the grass clippings and leaves evenly over your lawn, which will benefit from the nutrients, and/or spread them over your beds. Allow the mulch to settle for a few days and then water well to aid decomposition.

“Mulching is a wonderful way of recycling garden waste and only one of the myriad eco-friendly actions we can adopt to conserve our environment,” says Vermaak.

“This Earth Day, I would urge everyone to join the movement to ‘go green’, as it is only through collective action that we will be able to leave a legacy behind for future generations.”

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