While implementing our project, we planted trees, shrubs, perennials and geophytes. In the initial stage of development, each of these plants requires special care from us. Our goal is to protect them, so we decided to supplement the soil around them with a layer of sawdust and conifer cork (about 240 liters).
This form of litter reduces evaporation of water from the ground and prevents its excessive drying out. Moreover, our plants need time to grow its’ roots. Thanks to the cork layer, weeds have problems with development, which allows our plants to adapt to new conditions.
The advantages of our activities are also: protection of plant roots against cold and heat and limitation of leaching of nutrients from the substrate. In addition, fresh coniferous cork is acidic - the pH is 3.5-5. And the mine site have mainly soil with an alkaline pH. Thanks to this interaction, the ground becomes neutral.
In addition, the cork contains mineral compounds (including magnesium, phosphorus, potassium) and cellulose, which, during decomposition, enrich the substrate with nutrients and improve its structure. This is how humus is formed. When it is in the soil, plants absorb nutrients more easily. Most of us probably know that earthworms like to stay under the layer of cork and sawdust, which additionally fertilize and loosen the soil.