Building, and learning to care for your own garden, is both rewarding and a lot of fun. However, a lot of potential green thumbs are often overwhelmed by all of the new terminology and different gardening processes. Mulching is one of these terms that you’ve perhaps heard of, but don’t know a whole lot about. Every new (and veteran!) gardener should be familiar with mulch Charlotte NC because it has the ability to increase the moisture content in your soil, reduce weeds, promote better crop quality, and ultimately, feed your soil.
One of the most important purposes of mulch is to lock in moisture. This is particularly beneficial during springtime when many regions across the United States are experiencing increased rainfall. During the springtime, mulch retains moisture, which in turn controls weeds, and keeps the soil fed. While mulch is a necessity during springtime, it has plenty of winter benefits as well! In the winter, mulch protects soil that is bare, which then prevents erosion and protects the plant life present.
Now that you know a little bit about the basics of mulch, let’s dive into some more specifics. In this blog post, we discuss what mulching is, why it matters, and an introduction to the different types of mulch. By the time you’re finished reading this post, you’ll be well on your way to understanding one of gardening’s most beneficial practices!
Mulch 101: What it is.
Mulch is an umbrella term for any type of material that covers a soil’s surface. By this definition, mulch is actually something that surrounds us in nature. For example, the fallen leaves and plant debris that often plague your garden and lawn can be considered mulch. In your garden specifically, mulch can be a number of different materials such as compost, rotted manure, cardboard, woodchips, rocks, hay, and even less conventional materials like seaweed. By using the proper type of mulch in your garden, you can cut down your labor time, build up the strength of your soil, and more.
In recent years, mulch has been recognized for its sustainability and ecological benefits. When implemented correctly, mulch feeds the living microorganisms in its direct area. The nutrients present in mulch are extremely helpful for improving the overall soil structure of your garden, creating a better environment for your plant life.
Why Mulching Matters- The Benefits of Using Mulch
Now that we’ve covered the basics of mulch, it’s time to discuss why mulching matters. As we’ve already mentioned, mulch can improve soil structure, lock in moisture, and save you precious time in your maintenance routine. However, these are just a few of the many reasons why gardeners of all types implement mulch as a fundamental practice in their routine. Listed below are some of the benefits you’ll experience when properly using mulch in your garden.
- Weed Reduction: The weed is the greatest adversary of the gardener. More than just an eyesore, weeds can wreak havoc on plant life. Nothing is quite as frustrating to the gardener as having to spend precious time trying to eliminate weeds in the landscape or garden. And yet, a simple blanket of mulch three to four inches deep can work wonders on your soil, by smothering weeds and keeping them from sprouting seeds. If weeds are present, they’ll be easier to remove because they won’t be so deeply embedded into the soil.
- Temperature Protectant: Mulch is a natural regulator against extreme temperatures, and it can help promote the health of plant life year-round. For example, in the winter, mulch helps the soil stay warmer, in turn protecting the roots of the plant from extreme temperatures.
- Water Retention: Watering your garden is critical to promoting its health and performance. Mulch helps trees, shrubs, and garden beds retain moisture, which can potentially cut down on your labor time, and save you money on utility bills. In general, mulches like pine bark are coarse in nature, and are the best at letting water pass through.
- And More: In addition to the previously listed benefits mulch can also:
- Add Nutrients to the Soil
- Prevent Erosion
- Encourage Earthworms
- Protect Plants from Winter Freezes and Thaws
- Keeps Plants Clean and Off the Ground
- Give a Uniform Appearance and Fluidity to Garden Design
The (Potential) Drawbacks of Mulch
When installed properly, there’s very little drawback to using mulch. However, it is important to conduct proper research into mulching, in order to prevent common mistakes from occurring. To get the most out of your mulch supplier indian trail you should definitely avoid:
- Overusing Mulch: Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. Make certain you are using a proper amount of mulch so that your garden beds aren’t smothered or stunted.
- Not Keeping It Contained to Proper Places: Mulch can contribute to rotting if it’s piled up carelessly around the trunks of trees and shrubs. Do not create “volcano” structures around these plants.
- Not Using the Proper Mulch: There are lots of different mulch types, and some fare better in certain environments and climates. Knowing whether to use inorganic versus organic materials makes a huge difference.
What Type of Mulch Should I Use?
This question has stumped many a gardener. With a multitude of options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which variety of mulch to use. Ultimately, you should choose mulch depending on your landscape, climate, and what you’re planting. Commonly used materials like shredded bark are great for managing slopes as they break down slowly. Whereas a material like straw has a strikingly golden color that is beneficial for practical and beautification purposes. Other popular materials are stones, bark chips, compost, hay, grass clippings, and more.
Feeling overwhelmed about choices? A good place to start is by knowing what you’re going to plant. By deciding what your garden is going to comprise, you can easily look into which mulch is directly beneficial for a specific type of plant life. With a little bit of research on landscape supply Charlotte NC, you can learn more about the pros and cons of certain mulch types and choose one that best fits your needs. Because ultimately, when rendered correctly, mulch can have significant benefits that lead to a happier, healthier, and better-looking garden.