Much to be said for mulch
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This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.

Mulch is important to farmers.Mulchis a protective cover of material that is spread on top of soil. It is usually made out of organic material, like crop waste. Farmers may keep the remains1 of maize2 or other crops on top of the soil. This creates mulch on the soil surface. The plant remains help protect the soil against wind and water damage. This is called conservation tillage.

Mulching is one of the best things people can do for their plants. Mulch not only protects the soil against wind and water damage. It also helps keep the soil from getting dry, and reduces the need for watering plants. It also limits temperature changes in the soil. And it stops unwanted plants, or weeds, from growing.

Organic mulch improves the condition of soil. As the mulch breaks down, it provides material which keeps the soil from getting hard. This improves the growth of roots and increases the movement of water through the soil. It also improves the ability of the soil to hold water. Organic mulch contains nutrients3 for plants. It also provides a good environment for earthworms and other helpful organisms in the soil.

The United States Department of Agriculture says it is easy to find organic mulch materials. Cut-up leaves and small pieces of tree bark can be used. Grass cuttings are also a good mulch for plants. Mulch from newspapers works well in controlling weeds.

The best time to add mulch depends on your goal. Mulch provides a thick barrier between the soil and the air. This helps to reduce temperature changes in the soil. As a result, mulched soil will be cooler than other soil in the summer. Mulched areas usually warm up more slowly in the spring and cool down slowly in autumn. In winter, the mulched soil may not freeze as deeply as other soil.

Mulch used to help moderate the effects of winter weather can be added late in autumn. The best time is after the ground has frozen4, but before the coldest weather arrives. Spreading mulch before the ground has frozen may attract small animals searching for a warm place to spend the winter. Delaying the spreading should prevent this problem. The animals will probably find another place to live.

And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, written by George Grow. Your can download transcripts5 and audio files of our reports at I'm Steve Ember.

mulch:a protective covering, usually of organic matter such as leaves, straw, or peat, placed around plants to prevent the evaporation of moisture, the freezing of roots, and the growth of weeds(覆盖层;放在植物周围以防止水分蒸发、根被冻坏及野草生长的保护性覆盖物,通常由树叶、谷物和泥炭等有机物质构成)


1 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
2 maize q2Wyb     
  • There's a field planted with maize behind the house.房子后面有一块玉米地。
  • We can grow sorghum or maize on this plot.这块地可以种高粱或玉米。
3 nutrients 6a1e1ed248a3ac49744c39cc962fb607     
n.(食品或化学品)营养物,营养品( nutrient的名词复数 )
  • a lack of essential nutrients 基本营养的缺乏
  • Nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. 营养素被吸收进血液。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 frozen 2sVz6q     
  • He was frozen to death on a snowing night.在一个风雪的晚上,他被冻死了。
  • The weather is cold and the ground is frozen.天寒地冻。
5 transcripts 525c0b10bb61e5ddfdd47d7faa92db26     
n.抄本( transcript的名词复数 );转写本;文字本;副本
  • Like mRNA, both tRNA and rRNA are transcripts of chromosomal DNA. tRNA及rRNA同mRNA一样,都是染色体DNA的转录产物。 来自辞典例句
  • You can't take the transfer students'exam without your transcripts. 没有成绩证明书,你就不能参加转学考试。 来自辞典例句