Mulch is a material layered and applied to the earth as a landscape covering. It’s used to suppress weeds, retain moisture in the soil, prevent frost heaving , keep the soil cool, and make the garden bed look more attractive.
Read on to discover the best time to mulch, types of mulch, and advantages of mulching.
When it comes to mulching, timing is everything. Mulching early or even late can create problems for the plants. The best time to mulch a garden depends on the type of material for the mulching and the local climate. Usually, mid-to-late spring or early Fall are the seasons for mulching since the soil is at its best temperature.
Mulching too early will slow the warming process needed by the soil while doing it too early in the fall can insulate the ground and affect the grass' growth.
Generally, there are two categories of mulch: organic and inorganic mulch:
You can get these from natural materials, which eventually break down to provide nutrients for the soil. They include pine straw, shredded leaves, compost, straw, hay and shredded wood/bark chips.
These are created from stone or artificial materials and used for weed control as well as decorative purposes. They include rock, gravel and synthetic rubber chips.
The best landscape mulching alternatives include grass clippings, landscape fabrics, plastic, manure and newspapers.
Following are the advantages of Mulching:
Use the clippings from your pruned trees for mulching instead of disposing of it. Mulching will reduce your workload as it suppresses weeds from growing. You can quickly remove weeds that manage to sprout since their roots will be shallow.
Mulch aids in regulating the temperature of the soil. When temperatures rise, plant roots stay cooler. During the winter, mulch helps the earth stay warmer to protect roots from the cold.
Mulch aids trees, shrubs and garden beds to retain moisture. There's still a need to water your plants, but less frequently, so you can save money on utility bills.
Organic mulches decompose, and as they break down, they provide nutrients such as nitrogen to plants. However, some mulch is to be used with caution like wood chips, which can tie up nitrogen. We advise you to use them only as a top layer or let them age very well before using them.
Mulching helps you use the materials around your yard and home to improve your soil and minimize weed. Visit the Down To Earth Landscape & Irrigation website for all your landscaping needs and get access to lawn care maintenance tips.