How to Feed your Garden

As long as there have been trees growing in forests, there has been mulch on the ground beneath them, which in turn provides nutrients for the trees to grow and continue their life cycle. Gardeners can also benefit greatly from using mulch.

What is Mulch?

Mulch is any material that is spread or laid over the surface of the soil to retain moisture, to suppress weeds and even make the garden look more attractive. Mulches can be split into two categories, biodegradable and non-biodegradable


Compost: Visit our blog on home composting to find out how you can make your own compost and the benefits of doing so.

Home composting can have great benefits – Source: Pixabay

Bark chippings: Bark chippings are capable of performing all of the functions in the garden mulch require. It saves gardeners a great deal of time by suppressing weeds and saving time watering during the summer months

• Bark mulch will also make your flower beds more attractive by the contrast of dark coloured bark mulch against lush green plant.

• The soil gets nutrients from the bark mulch breaking down.

• Bark mulch provides organic matter that will encourage living organisms into the soil such as worms, which in turn benefits the soil quality and structure.

Non- Biodegradable Mulch

Non-biodegradable mulches like stones are best at suppressing weeds, conserving moisture and are long lasting. Unfortunately non-biodegradable mulches do not improve the fertility of the soil and certain mulches like plastics can affect the soil structure by not letting enough air pass through to the soil which will eventually smother living organisms.

Mulching the soil with multicolored gravel. A small ornamental bush next to the sidewalk in the park. Landscape architecture of the park

If you are worried about your soil structure and the living organisms in the soil you can use a groundcover material that is available in CountryLife garden centres called Hipex.

Hipex is fully breathable which means that water and air can pass through the porous woven fabric keeping the soil condition underneath healthy.

Can I use both Biodegradable and Non-Biodegradable Mulch?

In my garden I use both, biodegradable and non-biodegradable mulches for certain areas. In one of my beds there are mostly low maintenance shrubs and I tend to do very little work in that bed so it makes sense for me to use a more permanent ground cover like Hipex.

On the other hand in my herbaceous beds and borders I use bark mulch or wood chips rather than plastic or fabric material as it suits the herbaceous bed.

Benefits of Biodegradable Mulch

  • Little or no watering and fertilising to be done
  • Provides a warm home for beneficial insects and plant friendly bacteria and fungi
  • Helps plants absorb nutrients

Where can I buy second hand mulch?

A big seller in CountryLife at the moment is our Second Harvest Mulch which comes in a cubic meter bag.

SecondHarvest is an innovative and sustainable product designed, developed and produced at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in Co. Laois, Ireland.

It is made from recycled wood and coloured with an environmentally friendly, water colourant. It lasts a lot longer than bark mulch and may only have to be replenished once every two years, saving on your pocket.

It will cover 150 square feet when covered at a depth of two to three inches it will ensure little water is evaporated and most weeds will be supressed saving you time to do other jobs.

If you’re not sure which type of mulch is best for your garden ask one of our horticulturists in store and we’ll be glad to help you choose the one most suitable for you.

Get in Touch!

If you have any questions about sedums, feeding potted plants, filling beds or borders or weeding contact us on social media- @CountryLifeGC (Links in footer). If you have a specific problem such as pest damage it’s really helpful to send us a picture- we’d love to help!


All products mentioned in the above blog can be bought on or in you local CountryLife branch. To find your nearest store click here.

Shamrock Decorative Bark Medium Chip 75L

The decorative bark provides a lovely background for your shrubs and foliage, while also protecting your soil.

Price: €7.95

Hipex Ground Cover 50m x 1.5m

The Hipex Ground Cover is a heavy duty woven cover for weed control. The semi-permeable layer allows air and water to pass through easily but creates a barrier that weeds cannot break. 

Price: €75.03

Shamrock Decorative Bark Medium Chip 75L

This decorative stone measuring 14mm and sold in a 25kg bag is ideal for driveways, paths, gardens, water features and memorials. The soft gold colour give a clean, natural finish around your garden paths and features. 

Price: €6.95