Durban sees many extremes in temperature with daily fluctuations in rain or extreme heat. This can take its toll on your plants, especially those with sensitive watering needs. If you find your plants drying up too quickly or you cannot keep up with watering often enough, then try mulching.
Mulching in gardening refers to layering a thick blanket of dried organic matter such as leaves or sticks over your soil- allowing only your plants to be exposed and none of the soil (ensure that your material does not have any seeds of any weeds that may sprout in your favourite beds). Water does not evaporate as easily underneath this layer which ultimately means that your soil retains water more efficiently. Your soil also traps heat better when mulched well which allows a more optimal soil temperature. Finally, your plant will find it easier to grow through the leaves than shallow rooted weeds which are prevented from obtaining the sunlight they need underneath the layer of mulching. This is a great strategy during hot spells.
In rainy spells, however, you must ensure your mulch does not trap so much water that your plants’ roots become waterlogged which often leads to root rot and the plant dying. In rainy spells, monitor your mulching and adjust to allow for evaporation if the soil seems too damp. Remove some of the mulch in areas that are more sensitive to waterlogged soil- thus exposing the soil to the sun and allowing water to evaporate out.