Mulch acts as a protective layer between the elements and the soil that your delicate plants are rooted. There are many different types of mulch, and the type you use depends on a few different things including the type of plants, the amount of sun or shade in the area and personal preference. Mulch is very important to the health and well-being of trees and gardens for several reasons.
The Benefits of Mulching a Garden
- It helps hold water in the soil so roots stay moist.
- It insulates the soil to protect delicate roots from extreme hot and cold temperatures.
- It helps keep weeds from growing so there is little root competition.
- It keeps the soil from compacting around roots.
- It protects the soil from damage due to lawn mowing.
- It adds nutrients to the soil during the decay process.
- It adds an aesthetic touch to the landscape.
Mulching Dos and Don’ts
- Place mulch in a donut-like circle when mulching trees.
- Keep mulch to a thickness of 4″ or less to avoid restricting oxygenation to the soil and roots underneath.
- Ideally, have an edge that the mulch can rest against so it doesn’t spread out on the lawn.
- Remove old mulch first before re-mulching beds so you know how thick the mulch layer really is.
- Avoid piling mulch too high around trees. This could cause poor growth and deterioration of the bark layer.
- Don’t use mulch chipped in local municipalities. This mulch could contain viral infections from other trees, as well as seeds that can grow saplings in your flower beds.
- Don’t use mulch on top of landscape fabric. It cannot re-enter the soil when it decomposes, so it does little to help improve the soil. Also, mulch breaks down on top of landscape fabric, allowing weeds to grow on top of the fabric.
Mulch is important to the health of any garden, as it provides a buffer between the elements and the soil, as well as enhancing the quality of the soil. Plants and trees thrive with mulch protecting their roots. Visit your local garden center to discover the many kinds of mulch available.