Sure, everyone has heard about mulch, but not many people actually know the important details that allow you to effectively use mulch. Depth of mulch, types, special considerations, and why you would actually mulch in the first place are typical questions, and we will help you address these lingering questions to ensure your garden thrives.
Many types of mulch exist; the type you use will depend on your preferences, situation, and location. There are two generic types of mulches, organic and inorganic. Organic mulches are anything that are found in nature and can be broken down by soil organisms. Inorganic mulches are anything man-made, or anything like rock that cannot be broken down by soil organisms. Inorganic mulches will have a much longer lifespan than organic mulches, but will usually not have a very natural look or give anything back to the soil.
There have been many interesting mulching methods used over the years, many of which were found to cause problems. One error was the “if 2 inches is good, 8 inches must be better” method. A thick layer of mulch can either hold way too much moisture in winter, or be bone-dry in summer. It can compact, keeping water and nutrients from passing through to the soil below. And in some areas, deep mulch can be a haven for rodents. You will usually need to refresh your mulch from time to time, but be wary of letting mulch build up to unhealthy depths.
While mulch may be an intimidating product to purchase, it’s essential to the health of your plants. Mulch provides many benefits including:
1. Prevent weed growth
2. Conserve moisture
3. Cool soil and maintain a consistent temperature
4. Prevent erosion
5. Protect plants in winter