Mulch is a layer of material that gets spread over the surface of the soil, consisting of either organic or synthetic material.
Aspiring berry farmers often ask me what the most important and unique challenges are when it comes to growing specific berry crops. My answer, depending on the system they use, almost always remains the same…WEEDS!
They then assume that it can’t be that hard to grow berries successfully if weeds are the biggest challenge. So they go ahead and start the trials in pots, grow bags, or directly in soil. And then, almost like clockwork, a year later I receive a phone call from these same growers saying they have no idea where to start with weed management.
Weed management, or rather more importantly, preventative weed management, tends to be overlooked as many new farmers mostly focus on all the other parts of the new venture, but it is indeed the little foxes that can ruin the vineyard. Aside from preventing weeds from germinating, mulching is a great way to conserve moisture, shield the soil from excessive heat or frost, and create a better environment for soil microbes and beneficial insects.
If you correctly build up and care for the soil, the soil will in turn feed your plants. This process tends to be more time consuming compared to conventional farming, but in the long run it is far more cost-effective. Producing more resilient plants and high-quality fruit.
Below are a few examples of mulches used by some of our berry producers.
Blackberry Field – Grass Mulch
Blueberry Field – Organic Mulch
New blackberry Fields – Synthetic Mulches
Aronia Berry Field – Synthetic Mulch
Blueberry Fields – Synthetic mulch, black
Gooseberry Field – Synthetic mulch, grey
Berries for Africa is a contract nursery grower and supplier of various berry plants. Apart from supplying plants, we offer turnkey consultation services for your production system. These include soil testing and rectifications, planting, fertilising, trellising, hydroponic systems, integrated pest and disease management, pruning, harvesting, and last but not least, the marketing of your fruit.
For berry plant orders or more information about our consultation services, feel free to contact us at email@example.com