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Mulch Frequently asked questions

What is it made up from?

It is made up from three different crops that are farmed by us at Apsley Farms – Rye, Maize, Barley and Grass.

How does the mulch work?

The mulch works a lot like fresh farm manure, but without the smell, the weed seeds and it is a stronger product.

As a Soil Improver we recommend a 20% mix of mulch and 80% soil. Spread a 2” layer over the area you wish to improve, go down a spade’s depth and mix it together. Leave for 3 to 4 days to settle before planting directly into it. This gives an instant improvement to the nutrients and the structure of the soil.

As a mulch, weed the area and spread a 2” layer, keeping a 2” gap around any plants that are in the bed to avoid any chance of burning. This will increase water retention in the soil, adds nutrient at a slower rate and give a professional finish to the borders.

How large an area does one bag cover?

It will cover a rough area of 7 – 10 meters square at the depth of 2″.

Can I use Mulch inside a polytunnel?

Can I store Mulch inside?

Can I use Mulch inside my Greenhouse?

We would strongly recommend not to use the fresh mulch inside your greenhouse or store inside without it being very well ventilated.

While our mulch is great for many applications, we advise against using fresh mulch in your greenhouse or polytunnel or anywhere without proper ventilation. Fresh mulch can release ammonia, which may harm your plants when not adequately dispersed in an enclosed space. Instead, we recommend using well-aged or composted mulch in greenhouses or polytunnels to minimize any potential risks.

How does the liquid work and how long will it last?

The instructions are found on the labels on the product. For best results use 20 parts water to 1 part tonic in a watering can and feed at soil level, trying to avoid getting any on the leaves. A suggested application is once every 10 to 14 days. Store upright and out of direct sunlight.

What is the pH of the mulch and liquid?

For both the mulch and the liquid it starts off at a pH of 8-8.5 going to a neutral within a couple of weeks. Acid loving plants will not suit this product when first added.

I have mushrooms growing in my Mulch, is this normal, are they safe?

This a great news, they love our Mulch, and it is a natural process and shows that the Mulch is free from herbicides and is turning into a compost and decomposing naturally.

These mushrooms are most likely Common Ink Caps. They are safe to handle but NOT to eat. You can leave them in, pick them out and add it to your compost heap or using a rake, rake the surface and they will soon disappear.

Click on link from the The Garden RHS all about Fungi in your Mulch – First published in The Garden, magazine of the RHS, September 2022.

How long will it last?

For the mulch once applied, it depends on the weather conditions. In wetter conditions it will be absorbed much more quickly into the soil. If you have some leftover, if it is stored in a dry environment it can last up to 6 – 9 months. Any left-over mulch can be added to your compost bin to help improve its nutrients.

For the liquid if it is stored upright and out of direct sunlight, it can last for 9 months +.

When is it best to add?

For the mulch, the best time to add it as a soil improver is in the autumn after the flower beds have been put to bed, through to the spring before you start planting into the soil. We recommend leaving minimum of 3 to 4 days after applying, before planting, this will give it time to settle.

As a mulch to reduce weeds, use in the spring when the first lot of weeds appear, remove weeds, and apply. This can continue to be added throughout the whole summer period to keep the beds looking good and providing a professional look.

For the liquid, add when the plants first start to shoot, then every 10 to 14 days thereafter.

Can I use the mulch like a compost from the garden centre? Can I plant directly into the mulch?

The short answer is no! However, you can mix it with your soil or topsoil, and it will do a better job than compost. As a Soil Improver mix it with 20% mulch and 80% soil. Spread a 2” layer on top of the soil, go down a spade’s depth and mix it together. Leave it for 3 to 4 days to settle before planting directly into it.

Do you test and are you aware of Amiopyralid and Clopyralid?

Yes, we do and we are very aware of the dangers of the issue. To ensure our mulch is safe for your garden we send samples to a laboratory to specifically test for Amiopyralid and Clopyralid residues, and up to this point there are no traces of Pyralids. 

By far the most effective way of identifying contamination is by performing bio-assays. In plain English this means that we grow tomato plants in a mix of our mulch and our compost. This is done inhouse with the net result being that we have enjoyed a bumper crop of tomatoes. All plants are healthy and thriving with no signs of the disfiguringly destructive effects of Pyralids.

Is the Mulch safe for pets?

Yes, the mulch is safe for pets, dogs like to lie on it when it is hot.

Does it have an odour?

When it is first applied an ammonia smell is given off, this will usually dissipate within 1 to 2 days depending on the weather conditions.

How do I pay?

Please call 01264 554433 and we will process the order and take payment over the phone, using our online terminal. We accept all major cards, excluding American Express.

When will I expect delivery?

Our aim is to get the order of mulch or liquid out to you within 10 working days from order and payment. We include delivery for all orders within a 30 mile radius of the farm, located near Andover, Hampshire.