The Fine Art of Mulching

Are you trying to determine whether mulch, pine straw, or rock are best for your landscaped flowerbeds? Organic mulch made from bark or shredded wood is an excellent option. Everyone loves fresh mulch in their landscaping beds, as it gives a fresh look and makes your landscape look brand new. Many don’t realize that mulch (and other ground covers) actually provides a lot of benefits beyond the visual appeal. Let’s check them out!

But What is Mulching?

Mulching is one of the best things you can do for your garden. It involves placing a protective barrier (mulch) around your plants and on your bare soil. This protective barrier can be made from various decomposing organic materials, including bark or wood chips (from diverse tree species), pine needles, straw, and cocoa bean shells, or non-decomposable inorganic materials such as black plastic, landscaping fabric, recycled tires, pebbles, and river rocks. Gardens come in many different sizes, shapes, and characteristics. Similarly, a broad assortment of mulches can be used to advance the design of your garden, including organic and inorganic mulch. Deciding what type of mulch to use in your yard and whether to invest in it is ultimately a task for a professional lawn care company. However, when deciding to use mulch for your landscaping projects, you should consider the benefits that mulch can offer. Most people understand that mulch helps keep your home spotless and gives your landscape a clean, sleek look, but they are not aware of the many benefits that it can add to your garden.

Retains Moisture

When it’s scorching hot outside, humidity can evaporate quickly from your soil, leaving an arid bed for your plants. Mulch provides insulation and keeps moisture longer in your land, making water readily available for your plants.

Weed Control

Using mulch, you can limit the number of weeds growing in the open spaces of your garden. Mulch provides an effective barrier curbing the amount of sunlight that can find its way to the plants.

Pest Control

The use of certain types of mulch, such as cedar bark, can deter certain pests because it contains natural oils that act as an insect repellent. To get the most out of it, be sure to find a mulch with a strong scent, as it will have the most significant effect on insects. But beware, some mulches can encourage insects to come into your garden and sometimes into your home, therefore look for the type of mulch that will best satisfy your specific requirements.

Helps Maintain Soil Nutrients

Plastic mulch is often used to keep soil moist in dryland agriculture. However, this cover doesn’t feed the soil, leading to decreased soil organic carbon. Photo credit Jun Wang.
Using an organic mulch can release nutrient-rich organic matter into your soil that will be beneficial to your plants for years to come. It can also attract earthworms, which further improves soil composition. Mulch prevents soil nutrients from being washed away by rain and can also release nutrients into the soil if you use organic matter. This happens when organic matter slowly decomposes on the soil surface.

Soil Temperature Control

Mulching will moderate fluctuations in soil temperature! Plant roots will be kept fresher with mulch covering the soil during the hot summer months. In winter, mulch protects plant roots from cold weather and prevents frost heaving. As temperatures are constantly cooling and warming, all plants are pushed out of the ground by the soil’s natural expansion and contraction.

Soil Erosion Prevention

Rainwater frequently washes away soil layers, but with mulch, this can be prevented. Mulch protects your soil by stopping water from overflowing and minimizing the impact of rain hitting the land. It acts as a shield that helps keep your landscape stable and prevents soil erosion.

1 Comment

  1. […] are various gardening secrets that you should know, and one of them is mulch. It is not as fancy as you may think, but it is very powerful and can be the change in your garden. […]

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