What Is Mulch?
Mulches are materials Placed over the soil surface to maintain moisture and improve the condition of the soil. Mulching does more than just give your gardens a well groomed professional Landscape Look, It can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your plants, soil andyourself!
Protects plant roots-
Rapid changes in temperatures as well as summer heat and winter freezes can cause damage to unprotected plants. Mulch inhibits insect and disease problems and adds a layer of insulation to protect against this damage and extend the life of vegetation.
Holds moisture in the soil -
Mulch retains moisture in the soil which protects plants during temperature changes and drought conditions. This reduces the need for frequent watering. Mulch also aids filtration of water into the soil.
Adds nutrients to the soil -
Hardwood mulch adds organic matter to the soil as it decomposes. This provides extra nutrients to plants, trees, and shrubs, and increases growing performance. Organic matter also encourages the growth of worms and other beneficial soil organisms which improve soil structure.
Helps new plants survive seasonal changes -
Mounding mulch over annuals that are still establishing can improve the chances for survival throughout seasonal changes. Laying a protective cover will prevent new plants from being pushed out of the soil by frost heaves. Covering plants, such as rose bushes, with mulch after the growing season will help the plants make a fast recovery in the spring.
Prevents erosion of soil -
Rainfall, snow melt, wind, and other natural forces can cause soil to erode over time. Also, the impact of raindrops bouncing off of the soil can cause a condition known as "crusting". Crusting can prevent the germination of seedlings. A protective layer of mulch can help prevent crusting and keep the soil from eroding and losing valuable minerals.
Keeps weeds under control -
Mulch helps prevent the germination of weed seeds. This leads to less labor for the care-taker and less need for herbicides.
Enhances the look of yards and garden -
The rich color of the mulch provides a deep contrast against the bright colors of flowers and the green of foliage.
Helps keep plants clean -
Mulch helps keep soil from splashing up on plant leaves, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and even outside walls during rain storms.
1 Cubic Yard (27 cubic feet) will cover approximately:
324 sq. feet, 1” deep
162 sq. feet, 2” deep
108 sq. feet, 3” deep
81 sq. feet, 4” deep
65 sq. feet, 5” deep
54 sq. feet, 6” deep
Always mulch wide and not deep -
It is recommended that mulching depth should be 2 to 4 inches. Too much of a good thing can be harmful. Over-mulching can create many problems and harm the health of plants, trees, and shrubs. Thick blankets of mulch can prevent the penetration of water and air. It can become matted and become almost soil-like and could encourage weed growth.
Never pile mulch against the base of trees or shrubs -
''Mulch Volcanoes'' is a new term that has been coined to describe mulch that is piled up around the base of trees. When this happens, the trunks of trees and shrubs can begin to rot. ''Mulch volcanoes'' can also become habitats for rodents that will eat the bark and can girdle trees. Insects and disease problems can also arise.
Always pull mulch back several inches from the base of the trunk so even the root crown is exposed.
Always rake mulch -
Rake mulch to break up any large chunks and to create an even, well-groomed appearance.