Mulching is a great idea as many of you know we at the Saskatoon Farm “mulch” our orchards extensively with a compost we manufacture here in large quantity (50% well rotted manure and 50% wood chips). We apply an approximate volume of 300 dump truck loads with a side discharge manure spreader biannually to all of our orchard of 50 acres plus. We benefit greatly from this practice by;
#1) fantastic moisture retention and uniformity - ie: not wet then dry then wet then dry, etc. but uniformly moist throughout season.

#2) Weed control - not only does the mulching make weeding a breeze but it also greatly increases the effectivity of Casoron (Casoron binds to organic matter). Because of the mulch Casoron can be applied at a stronger rate safely. Also, by using this compost we are able to safely apply Casoron on younger trees because the chemical heeds close to the surface.

#3) On new orchards it allows for easy control of the #1 pest of newly planted saskatoons, the root aphid. This being for two reasons;

#4) I also feel that the overall environment under the mulch is condusive to the plant health. ie: microbiotic activity, positive insect life generally a “natural environment for the Saskatoon”.

#5) Mulching helps delay of flowering in Spring which is helpful in some areas.