Are you considering adding mulch to your garden?
Mulching is the process of adding mulch, which usually consists of organic material, over a portion of your garden area. Mulch is meant to be visually appealing while providing a plethora of benefits to your garden.
Gardeners and homeowners alike turn to mulch because of how effective it is to help maintain gardens. Mulch eliminates the need to do a lot of manual maintenance because it does most of the work itself.
Let’s take a look at what is mulch and what sort of benefits mulching provides:
One of the main reasons people buy mulch, especially those that aren’t gardeners, is because of it’s stunning appearance. Mulch gives any lawn and garden a complete look. It’s often used to fill up empty spaces within your land.
Rather than having green chunks of grass, colored mulch can provide an aesthetic alternative. Mulch can also be used for lawn designs, such as creating certain shapes and artwork. It goes very well with rocks.
Weed control is a hassle that most homeowners have to deal with. Mulch can fix that. When mulch is laid, it prevents the weeds beneath it from growing because it blocks any pathway and sunlight.
Weeds are naturally all about taking as many resources as they can. Not controlling them can lead to your plants getting killed due to lack of nutrients and they can be difficult to get rid of when out of control.
Along with preventing weeds from growing, the lack of sunlight helps to slow down moisture evaporation. Homeowners love much for this reason because they don’t have to water their plants as often.
This conservation of moisture will allow your plants to remain hydrated during the times when rain is lacking or you’re unable to give them the proper amount of water.
Improves the Soil
Many mulches are made from organic materials that water and feeds it to the soil beneath. The organic mulch breaks down over time as water flows through and insects consume it, adding more nutrients to the soil.
Healthy soil is necessary to give your plants the ideal environment to grow. Soil is home to insects and other organisms that help plants grow by circulating nutrients through their ecosystem.
A benefit that some mulches provide is being natural pest repellants. Depending on the type of mulch, they can contain natural oils and scents that repel pests like cockroaches and ants.
These pests are known for invading soil and killing the insects that provide nutrients. Killing these important insects effectively destroys the ecosystem within your soil, preventing plants from receiving most nutrients.
Mulch acts as a natural insulator by keeping the soils beneath it warm during winter and cool during summer. The layers prevent sunlight from heating up the soil and snow or rain from making the soil too cold.
Having insulated roots prevents your fresh plants from dying, ensuring that they survive through the seasons to resprout when ready.
Choosing the Best Mulch
When it comes to choosing mulch, there are many options that are used in a variety of situations. Let’s learn more about how to mulch by looking at the common kinds used:
- Wood chips and bark
Wood chips and bark offer all of the benefits that organic mulch has, and they often take a while to decompose. The delay of decomposition allows your soil to passively receive nutrients over a longer period.
Using this kind of mulch around trees and garden plants will give your plants the best chances of surviving against weeds.
Straw is often used for lawns that have recently been seeded. Straw isn’t as heavy as other mulches, allowing seeds to sprout easily. It doesn’t take too long to decompose, so moisture may be an issue if you don’t water the soil.
Keep in mind that straw mulch decomposes very quickly, so don’t expect to use it as a long term option. It’s meant to help seeds grow.
- Cocoa chips
Cocoa chips are often used by people that would like a decent color complemented by a pleasant scent. Cocoa chips usually decompose within a year, but they’re usually cheap.
It must be noted that you shouldn’t use cocoa chips if you have animals because the chocolate within this mulch can be dangerous to them.
Plastic is effective for those that would like to kill weeds fast. The problem with plastic is that it doesn’t allow for water to pass through, which will prevent the soil from being moist.
Since plastic isn’t biodegradable, your lawn can end up killing a lot of plant life while providing nothing in return, so be sure to remove it when the season is over.
Rubber mulch is usually made from recycled tires, making it very affordable durable. Because the rubber is so tough, it’s not suitable for any gardening projects. Just like it plastic, rubber doesn’t decompose, and it can be easily lost within the soil.
Start Mulching to Improve Your Lawn
If you have any gardening plans in the future, consider mulching to make your life a lot easier. With all of the benefits that mulch provides, using it to assist your garden is a no brainer.
Consider the kinds of mulch listed to determine which one is the best mulch for you to use. There’s a type of mulch for every case, you just need to use them in the appropriate situations.