The environmental benefits of mulch are well documented. However it is a practice that some commercial growers in the horticultural industries have been reluctant to adopt. The greatest barrier to adoption is the perceived cost coupled with the long time frame in which the value is realised, with little understanding of the associated cost benefits. Monitoring soil moisture fluctuations, weed control and productivity of the native cut flower NSW Christmas Bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum) under mulched and unmulched conditions has provided valuable information to support the adoption of mulching as a best management practice for sustainable in-ground flower production. A trial, conducted at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Queensland at Redlands Research Facility, investigated three different mulch products compared to using no mulch. The products included in the trial were, hardwood wood chips, forest mulch and EcoCover which is a recycled waste paper product.
Published August 2012