Roots 'n' Shoots: Penny Royal: The Living Mulch

Why is RnS Moving to

Google had brought out an algorithm update in May 2017. With previous updates like Panda or Penguin, Mr G had penalized blogs or websites with low quality content and those more focused on aggressive adverts (including multiple ads or pop-up ads in articles). However, many blogs/websites that weren't shady got penalized beyond recovery too and a lot of people lost their income. The May 2017 update has had wide-scale effect on blogs and websites, but without any explanation from Mr G as to why or what it does. RnS has been hit by it too and hard. RnS organic search stats (i.e. users from Google) have dropped by 75% since. Even though RnS is not a source of income, I tried to figure out why RnS is being culled. It seems that it doesn't really have anything to do with RnS per se, but likely because RnS is FREE and not paying for page ranking (via AdWords or Ad Ranking). Now it is likely being aggressively shoved to lower page rankings to accommodate the paid ads.

I cannot rely on Mr G anymore to get RnS' content where it is needed. So I am busy moving RnS to Wordpress where you can find me as Whisker Flowers @

I am also imposing 301 redirects from already moved posts and pages!

- The Shroom - (AKA Whisker Flowers)

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Penny Royal: The Living Mulch

 Living Mulch,
Penny Royal
 Mentha pulegium

I am really tired of weeding and get very irritated when new ones pop up in the garden, especially in the areas that border my veg plots – AKA ‘The Weed Zones’! So I decided I would like to plant something there that would compete and displace the weeds, preferably something that is useful to the veg garden; such as attracting insects, or repelling pests or has some edible use.

I settled for Penny Royal for several reasons:

ü It is a matting ground cover
ü It grows quickly
ü It has a pungent aroma that repels some garden pests (or I would assume disguises the smell of the veggies from the pests)
ü Water friendly because it belongs to the mint family
ü Low maintenance
ü Flowers to attract beneficial insects
ü Leaves are used for herbal mint tea or can be applied to treat insect stings

Growth rate of Penny Royal in The Weed Zones
Before pic: Late Summer
After pic: Mid-winter

As well as all the benefits of Penny Royal by itself; it acts as a living or green mulch with most of the benefits that traditional (dry) mulch also has:

ü Retains water (green ground cover is able to capture water from just 1mm of rain!)
ü Keeps the soil warmer for longer during the winter months and cool in summer
ü Controls weeds
ü Assists with maintaining a healthy soil community (microbes and small insects can take shelter)

I would suggest either pruning or digging out sections with a spade that start to invade the veg plots. The clumps you remove that have roots can be easily replanted elsewhere and it’ll keep on growing there – propagating Penny Royal could not be easier!

Weed guard
Penny Royal
Mentha pulegium
- Update - 20 September 2015

You can find information on clovers as living mulches @ Natural Biofertilisers & Edible Legumes post

Related articles:

Green manures and cover crops
Mulching – Watering Page
Attracting beneficial insects to the garden - Insectary
Pest Control


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