how does mulching helps in soil formation ?

Asked by tinu1972 | 26th Jul, 2015, 07:37: PM

Expert Answer:

Mulching is a process wherein a protective layer of a material is spread upon the bare ground between plants. Mulches can either be organic (straw, grass, bark chips, etc) or inorganic (stones, bricks, plastic, etc) in nature.

Materials used as mulches provide great assistance by retaining the soil moisture, improving the condition of the soil and keeping the soil loose. This helps in the improvement of root growth, increase in the infiltration of water, and also improvement of the water-holding capacity of the soil.

Mulching depending on the purpose is applied at various times of the year.

  • When applied towards the beginning of the growing season, it initially warms the soil by helping it retain heat which is lost during the night. This allows early seeding and transplanting of certain crops, and encourages faster growth.
  • As the season progresses, mulch stabilizes the soil temperature and moisture, and prevents the growing of weeds from seeds.
  • In temperate climates, when the mulch is applied in fall and winter they are used to delay the growth of perennial plants in the spring or prevent growth in winter during warm spells, which limits freeze thaw damage.

Thus, it is said that the effect of mulch upon soil moisture content is complex. Mulch forms a layer between the soil and the atmosphere which prevents sunlight from reaching the soil surface thereby reducing evaporation. However, mulch can also prevent water from reaching the soil by absorbing or blocking water from light rains.

Answered by Akanksha Kaul | 27th Jul, 2015, 12:35: PM

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