Harrows and cultivators are used where there are few weeds, and the mulching process is the one desired.
One of the most effective means of conserving soil moisture is by " mulching," i.e.
The space between the parts of such substances is too large to admit of capillary action; hence the water conveyed to the surface of the soil is prevented from passing upwards any further except by slow evaporation through the mulching layer.
For prevention, the surface soil covering bulbs should be removed every autumn and replaced by soil mixed with kainit; manure for mulching should also be mixed with kainit, which acts as a steriliser.
Often the escape of heat from the soil is prevented by " mulching," i.e.
Should be shortened, and some care in watering and mulching should be bestowed on the plant if it is of value.
The earth must be kept moist, which is perhaps best done by a thick mulching of moss, the moss being also bound closely over the openings in the vessel, and all being kept damp by frequent syringings.
- Plant fruit trees in open weather, if not done in autumn, which is the proper season, mulching over the roots to protect them from frost, and from drought which may occur in spring.
Plant out tender deciduous trees and shrubs raised in pots; plant out tea-roses, mulching the roots.
- Pruning, staking up or mulching can be done if the weather is such that the workmen can stand out.
The hay or leaf mulching on the strawberry beds should be removed and the ground deeply hoed (if not removed in April in the more forward places), after which it may be placed on again to keep the fruit clean and the ground from drying.
In small areas the mulching system is sometimes preferable.
- Strawberry beds should be covered (in cold sections) with hay, straw or leaf mulching, to a depth not exceeding 2 in.
In some sections a system of dry-farming, by which the scanty rainfall is protected from evaporation by deep ploughing and mulching the soil, has proved profitable.
The ground must be well prepared, so as to give the trees a good start, and a mulching of manure during the early years of their growth would be of much advantage.