The Best Mulching Materials

Using mulch around your garden plants or landscape can enhance their appearance, decrease erosion, maintain water and also improve the soil. Not all mulch materials have the same properties or work well for the same plants. Below are some types of mulching materials.


Wood and Bark

Sawdust, chipped word, ground wood and bark are all cheap materials that aid in water conservation and enhance moisture penetration. You can use them alone or place them over landscape fabric or plastic. Wood mulches that have not composted can withhold the soil nitrogen during decay, but they become a rich source of nitrogen after some years pass. Some wood mulches can be a haven for termites and other insect pests, but cedar and eucalyptus are insect-resistant.

Grass, Hay, and Straw

You can harvest these mulch materials from the landscape or buy them at an affordable price from local sources. They are consistently available and simple to use although they may mat when you apply thick layers. Straw does not have any seeds but grass clippings, and hay may have weed seeds that can attack your landscape. Ensure the Grass-type materials for mulching are completely dry when you use them to prevent mold.

Leaf Mold and Compost

These mulches have decayed partially, and they are not as decorative as the other materials. The upside is that there are less apt to tie up any useful nutrients that your plants need. They are inexpensive and effortless to find although you must prepare them well so that you can get rid of seeds and other items that may cause problems later on. Use leaf mold carefully in soils that have a high pH as it can be acidic.


The paper offers a cheap, easy-to-apply option for mulching particularly for vegetable gardens. Shredded newspapers are as effective as grass and hay but have the upper hand in that there are no weed seeds. Newspapers, whether shredded or folded, do not have stability when it is windy, so they require some compost or straw to keep them in place. The downside is that paper can be a haven for earwigs and sow bugs.



These materials are popular in commercial farms and some large home-based growing areas. They can warm the soil during spring and decrease erosion and evaporation. Black plastic controls weeds while clear plastic does not unless you use it as part of the process of soil solarization. Polypropylene fabric can be pricey than any other plastic options, but it lets the water and air to go through.

You can access information on other mulching materials at Open Permaculture school and Regenerative Leadership Institute online.

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Relative Location As An Important Aspect Of Permaculture Design

Relative location is perhaps the most important aspect of permaculture design and it requires that each element be placed in a relationship to assist the other elements. The primary concern when it comes to permaculture is the relationship among the various components and how they interact with one another, hence the importance of relative location. Determining the relative location of specific elements requires a clear understanding of its inputs and outputs as well as its nature.

DCTM_Penguin_UK_DK_AL526021_adrg5oFor example, deciduous trees can be placed on the sunny side of a house or food crops. This way, they can provide protection against the sun’s rays during summer and in autumn-winter, the trees shed the leaves and allow more warmth to pass through to crops or house. Water tanks can be placed on the uphill of a garden and allow the water to run downhill by the sheer force of gravity. A sun powered pump can be used to pump water uphill to the tank.

You can locate your garden just behind the kitchen to allow for easy access. In this case, the garden’s output is an input to the kitchen. The output of the kitchen including kitchen scraps is a good input to the worm farm, which contributes significantly to the growth of crops in the garden.

watercycleThe orientation chosen for trellises should ensure that plants don’t shade each other out, and that it maximizes on exposure to sunlight. Weather elements like the sun, wind and rainfall should also factored in when applying the principle of relative location in permaculture design. Consider planting your fruit trees along the chicken run. This supplies the chicken with feed in form of fresh fallen fruit, while at the same time providing fruit trees with manure in the form of decomposing chicken excrete. Additionally, chickens act as a natural pest controller as they feed on harmful insects and the trees offer protection against sun.

When applying the principle of relative location in permaculture design, it is important to remember that elements don’t just constitute of what you add to the design. Existing structures like sun, wind, rain, mountains, gulleys, river banks, buildings and other structures are also considered elements. Put simply, the principle of relative location can be optimized by placing them near others whose inputs and outputs flow into each other, or where they interact to bring out best desired effect. More about relative location and permaculture design can be learnt at Open Permaculture School and Regenerative Leadership Institute (visit site).

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Protecting the wetlands and other water catchment areas  

Protecting the wetlands is important if we are to save river sources and millions of flora and fauna living in the water catchment area. Unfortunately, many human activities are directly messing up with the water catchment areas and causing the drying of lakes, rivers, and other natural water bodies. The leading environmental training institutions such as Open Permaculture School and Regenerative Leadership Institute continue to teach on various areas of water conservation. Here are some of the ways we can rehabilitate the depilated water catchment areas as per the training.

Septic systems

septic_systemWith the increase in the number of the urban areas also brings an increase in the number of septic systems draining into the wetlands. There are several septic systems around the world that drain into water bodies others leak the sewage accidentally into these fields. A characteristic of this kind of pollution is the smell of sewage when there is rainfall. Septic systems should be inspected and pumped every five years to ensure that they are working right. Low flow toilets should be used to help conserve the water.

Fertilizers and pesticides

LG_fertilizers_pesticidesUnfortunately, most of the wetlands are found in agricultural rich regions where the use of fertilizers and pesticides is the order of the day. These substances end up in the water catchment areas and mess up with the flora and fauna in the ecosystem.

There are alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are organic pesticides. Compost manure and domestic animal dropping are also safe soil enrichers to use. It is important to have the soil tested before applying any fertilizer. This helps you avoid over-applying some fertilizers that are not of any good to the soil. As for pests, you could use the Integrated Pest Management that reduces the reliance on chemical herbicides and pesticides.

Recreational use of the catchment areas

The wetlands are recreation destinations offering lots activities such as rafting, swimming, motor boat rides, fishing, hiking bird watching and many more. Care should be taken when engaging in the above sports to prevent the overuse of the facilities and damage to the ecosystem. There should be a limit for the motorboat speeds, hiking and so much more. Care should be taken to avoid littering the area with plastic bags and other inorganic waste.

Catchment areas



Trees can be harvested in wetlands but in a controlled manner. If some few mature tree as cut, there should be many more native trees that are planted in their place. Care should be taken to avoid to avoid damaging important animal habitats. The flora and fauna in the water catchment areas co-exist to create harmony and balance in the eco-system.

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Sustainable living tips

The experimental confirmation is overwhelmingly clear. Carbon dioxide levels in the environment are at levels higher than they’ve been in centuries and they are as yet going up. Whether you trust the by and large acknowledged hypothesis this is brought on by man or not, we can all concur that everybody needs to cooperate to decline carbon dioxide outflows. In any case, this is by all account not the only motivation to shoot for basic living. It advantages both the world’s nature and future, and your wallet.


What does it mean, manageable living. Basic living is an expansive term that includes any number of way of life decisions that at last prompts decreasing the perpetual and pessimistic effect a man, family or organization has on the biological community. Feasible living is independent, it decreases the utilization of limited assets on the earth and rather uses renewable vitality.


The way things are, feasible living can incredibly build the measure of reserve funds on regular buys. Maybe just pennies at once, these reserve funds can just increment after some time, making a little venture today a potential productive benefit tomorrow or one year from now.

One of the keys of practical living is the way to go of environmentally friendly power vitality. While thoughts of sun oriented and wind vitality have been around for a considerable length of time (or on account of wind, subsequent to the first mechanical windmills), just in the last 5 or 10 years of the restrictive expenses been tended to for more prominent and more noteworthy effectiveness. Today, rooftop lain sun powered boards or little housetop wind turbines are fundamental to reasonable living. Some are so successful at catching this normal and renewable force source that those joined with the city power lattice can frequently lessen their power bills – as well as dispose of them inside and out. A chosen few are notwithstanding turning a benefit by offering vitality outfit by sunlight based boards. Straightforward living won’t simply spare you cash, it may make you some money also!

Different strategies for manageable living is judgment skills changes that will lower warming expenses, for example, introducing twofold sheet windows all through, upgrading to a littler and more productive water radiator, and decreasing the miles driven. Supporting nearby homesteads and deliver drives down the monetary and ecological expenses of transportation sustenance around the globe as does developing some of your own produce in your window ledge or patio. Finding a way to accomplish basic living can have enduring and, particularly on account of sustenance, charming results for a considerable length of time to come, as you can find on Regenerative Cell Institute. Supportable living is likely a decision now, yet not far off, the need to safeguard common assets and the planet itself will require more exertion and maybe a higher expense. Better to be at the lead of economical living today.

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Working with water


To work with the water, in permacultural way ( not destroying but coexisting ) of non-destruction, we first need to understand the water, its flow and its characteristics. Using the full power of water and its flow is best seen in making swales.

There are practical courses in which you can learn all this in first hand, just look for Vladislav Davidzon online, he organizes some pretty awesome courses. There are five practical steps in using and conserving water, but I want to focus on only one of them, soil contouring. But having other 4 in mind is also an important thing, while working with water. Water is life, and it must be your aim to bring water to your permaculture system. You can chose your own permaculture design. Best way of doing that is by making swales, and that I will go through in this article.IMG_6419

    Remove vegetation from the future swale location. Digging your future swale while tripping on vegetation can only slow your work progress and it can lead to injuries. So before starting anything clear all vegetation from that spot. But don’t remove vegetation any further it will help prevent erosion of land around your swale.


 Digging-Swales-Warren  Level the ground as much as possible to prevent water from going where it wants. You can use mechanical help for this if you want, for it will be more precise. But you can do it by yourself with a help from some make-do tools like piece of string and so on.

   Dig the ditches on edges of your swale. This should be first step in actual swale digging. Make sure they all have same or similar depth. Earth you dig out this way should be used in making of the berm. All rocks you find while digging should be put to side because they will help later. Make sure all sides of ditches are smooth to prevent erosion.

   Drainage should be lower than the swale in order to care excess water away. If you don’t have drainage system it can cause destruction of berm and with that whole swale. If you plan on having few swales then drainage from one can fill other and so on.

  Use rocks you dug out to prevent erosion. This can be done by putting rocks on the entrance of the swale in order to break the flow of water better and prevent erosion. This can be done on all places where you reroute the water flow.

  Secure the berm by patting down any earth you place there.  Level the berm with sides of the swale. This can be done by walking on the berm while it is made and patting earth down with your weight.Swale_NSG-Eldena_Sept-2008_SL271623

  Tree planting can be done on the berm to increase its strength and integrity. Trees should be fruit ones so you have something from that planting, and you can plant berry plants with strong roots too.

  Test the swale by filling it up.  This test should mimic the actual water flow. By doing this you will test your swale and find about mistakes before actual water comes down in it.

  Observe changes swale does to the land around. It will be a beautiful thing to watch, a work of your hands changing the landscape and nature towards better future.

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What is Regenerative Leadership Institute all about?

Only when the global pollution of water, soli and air together with increased industrialization of cities and overall society became a mainstream problem and was discussed on all political levels, have the ordinary people began to realize how important this issue is and how they have to do everything that they can in order to stop the ongoing process of the planet’s destruction. The impending doom was predicted by many environmental experts and most of them advised the “return to nature” as the universal cure for remedying the troubled Mother Earth.


            In the late 1970s and after the hippy movement a strong feel towards nature and everything that would stop green gas emission was being popular, and a system that an Australian professor created in that time was no exception. Bill Mollison, together with his graduate student David Holmgren, coined the term “permaculture” and the elaborate system that they established was accepted all over the world, since it praised nature and all of the designs and patterns that exist in our environment. There are  12  permaculture design principles today that they abide by.

            Vladislav Davidzon, one of Mollison’s students, had a deep understanding for these issues and in 2004 he started his own design school – Regenerative Leadership Institute. As he already was one of the leading figures in the field on environment protection, Davidzon was also a respectable entrepreneur with highly successful projects and profitable international companies. His earlier projects also had strong mark of being eco-friendly, for example: ThinkHost – the first web hosting company that was powered exclusively on renewable energy sources (wind and solar energy) and Common Circle Expeditions (Sustainable Energy in Motion) – bike rides in Oregon and Hawaii with stops to visit organic food farms and locations with permaculture design.beautiful-nature-521524-1920x1080-hq-dsk-wallpapers

            Regenerative Leadership Institute was also started on the foundations of permaculture and sustainable living, but it’s CEO and the brains behind the whole project, Vladislav Davidzon, had some unconventional ideas of how to organize and run permaculture courses. He included a pragmatic approach into the teachings on this subject, and insisted heavily on immersion in nature, so majority of the Regenerative Leadership Institute’s programs are held in parks, woods and usually always in tents and with the rest of the camping gear. However, they have accepted modern technology in the sense that courses from this design school can be freely accessed on their website, and this online revolution happened in 2013 when they crowd-founded enough money to upload all of the content.

            Spiral-Fern-480x319Nowadays, this company is spread in over 195 countries and boasts over 250,000 people who attended the program. Regenerative Leadership Institute offers great possibility for a life changing experience for people of any race, religious or age group, and in their Retreat they accept everybody who is willing to make a change in the world and live in accordance with nature and its ultimate laws. Some of the topics that high-quality instructors teach in this school are connected with protection and preservation of soil, usage of renewable energy, recycling of waste, social interactions and integration, and many, many more.


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