Mulching in flowerbeds and around lawn items offers a clean, well-kept look, but did you know…
mulching in warm months
- suppresses weeds
- conserves moisture in the soil
- moderates soil temperatures while the spring temps jump around
Mulching in cold months
- Protects plants from freezing and thawing
- guards against soil erosion
Keep in mind that while mulch may be gardening’s version of sliced bread, snails and other garden pests enjoy the cover it provides, so it is important to be vigilant in checking for and protecting against unwanted visitors.
So many choices, so little time…
Inorganic mulch options: plastic sheeting, rocks, gravel, landscape fabric and rubber mulch
Pros: do not break down and therefore do not need to be refreshed as often, easy to put down, suppress weeds, many color options
Cons: more expensive than organic options, do not add nutrients to the soil and can even block nutrients, do not insulate as well as organic options
Organic mulch options: wheat straw, pine needles, hardwood and softwood chips, leaves, grass clippings, newspaper
Pros: add nutrients to the soil as they decompose, insulate, blocks weeds, and add to the fertility of the soil
Cons: need to be refreshed regularly, attract wood-eating insects, not as many color options
There are many options and the mulch you choose depends on the type of landscaping you are doing. We suggest taking a look at the Old Farmer’s Almanac for a more detailed guide on the subject.
Once you have chosen between organic and inorganic you will also need to decide how much mulch is the right amount for you, especially if you are buying it. A mulch calculator is a handy tool to help you estimate how much mulch you will need to cover a given area.
Do you have any mulching tips or tricks that you would like to share? Leave them in the comments!