Mulching the larger pepper plants.
The mulch has a wide range of benefits including stabilizing soil, suppressing weeds, retaining moisture, and increasing the organic matter content of the soil.
We avoid mulching very small plants as our compost at times can be quite “coarse”, but having said that, the effects on the crops we mulch with our compost can be quite spectacular. I often admire the plants a few weeks after they have been mulched and ask myself what is it that makes them respond so well?
Courgette plants basking on their compost mulch.
Could it be the humus? This makes up a large portion of the dark material in compost and is very valuable for improving the chemical and physical quality of the soil. Humic substances are a large range of complex molecules, but you can actually buy soluble “humic acids” from the chemical companies, sold as wonder potions for intensive crop production. In my previous career as a crop productionist I used them, but never found them to work.
Our compost; much more than a single component.
To me these soluble humic acids produced by the multinationals are rather like the “wonder health food additives” such as; eggs with Omeg 3, milk with added Calcium, yogurt with Danacol etc. May be the scientists trying to isolate the latest wonder molecule should look at my cabbages mulched with compost!
So often it’s not a single factor which constitutes to the health of a plant or person but it is the result of all the different components of a complex natural system, working together, and this is what we should come to respect and appreciate