It’s that time of year again—time to break out the garden hoe, seeds, and fertilizer. Whether you’re planting flowers, vegetables, or simply looking to maintain your garden beds and lawn, it’s crucial to consider a maintenance and care plan for your lawn or garden. A great way to keep your garden in optimal health this season and year-round is by mulching. Today, we’ll explore the many benefits of mulch.
Mulch is any material spread over soil and used as a covering to lock in moisture. It can be organic or inorganic. Organic mulch is typically a bi-product of another industry, such as the black or brown wood chips that you may be most familiar with. But, cut leaves and newspaper are also considered mulch. The former is organic and decomposes over time, whereas the latter is inorganic and does not decompose over time.
Not only will mulch finish your garden and yard providing aesthetic and curbside value to your home or commercial property, but it is also one of the most beneficial steps you can take to keep your plants and soil healthy. Here are the top six benefits of mulch:
1. Locks in Moisture
Mulch retains moisture by reducing the amount of water lost through evaporation, which keeps plants from drying. This is particularly important during fall, winter, and seasons of drought. To ensure that your mulch will efficiently retain moisture, lay two to four inches of mulch.
2. Moderates Temperature
Tired of endlessly checking the weather during fall, winter, and early spring? Mulch moderates your ground temperature and prevents temperature spikes that could damage your plants during temperamental seasons.
3. Weed Control
While a well-manicured garden and yard adds beauty to any home or commercial property, the upkeep can be overwhelming. Mulch prevents weeds from germinating by blocking sunlight and keeping the ground cooler, leaving you with more time to enjoy your beautiful garden rather than pulling pesky weeds.
4. Prevents Erosion
At the beginning of spring, you may notice that your soil level has eroded from melted snow, rain, and wind. This proves costly to the lawn visually, but more importantly, can damage your soil. Reduce soil erosion by adding mulch to your garden. It will stabilize soil and keep vital nutrients from washing away. Mulch is especially effective for steep slopes or other areas prone to soil erosion.
5. Keeps Soil Healthy
Not only does mulch prevent nutrients from washing away, but organic mulch releases new nutrients into your soil as it decomposes.
Mulch also invites earthworms to make their home in your garden. Earthworms add more nutrients to your soil and help improve the overall health of your garden.
6. Wards Off Pests
Nothing is worse than waking up to half-eaten flowers or vegetables. Mulch can also help prevent pests from preying on your garden. For example, cedar is malodorous to insects and pests, so cedar bark acts as a natural insect and pest repellent.
The benefits of mulch are clear, but keep in mind that not all mulch is created equal and different types of mulch offer different additional benefits and may be more suitable for more vulnerable plants. The two most costly mistakes are using the wrong type of mulch and applying it incorrectly, so choosing the right type of mulch is just as important as including mulch in your lawn care plan.
Let Haynes help you every step of the way! Haynes has a variety of mulch available to suit your needs, including bulk mulch options, and the expertise you need to guide you in mulching your lawn or garden. We can help you find the right type of mulch to ensure your lawn or garden looks great this season and next—contact us today!