This is Jim. He’s married, he’s got two kids, a dog, a cat and a mortgage. And every summer, he gives himself a project: making his yard look its best.
He’s got all the latest equipment, knows the folks at his local landscape supply store by name and cheerfully wears one of those “I Fought the Lawn…and the Lawn Won” t-shirts.
But then autumn comes and Jim feels a bit lost. He’s like a sailor who only feels truly at home when he’s out at sea.
Are you like Jim? Do you feel uninspired by your landscaping once summer is done? It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few fall landscape ideas that can bring new life to your yard this season.
Spend enough time reading up on gardening and landscaping, and you’ll see one word pop up over and over again: mulch.
If you do enough digging – no pun intended – you’ll see that mulch is quite a useful tool. It protects the root systems of your plants, prevents weeds and topsoil erosion, and adds nutrients to your soil.
But like any tool, mulch will only be truly effective if it’s used correctly. That’s why we’re using this month’s blog space to explain how to use mulch.
Weed control in Chester County is a lot like weed control everywhere else: it’s a battle.
Sometimes it isn’t even enough to pull those weeds once, because roots can re-grow the plants, and nature’s breezes can often deposit the seeds necessary to trigger their growth.
That means pulling weeds needs to be an ongoing process that requires vigilance on your part, so those unwanted plants don’t have a chance to dominate the flowers, vegetables, and other desirable plants you have growing. Here are a few tips that might give you the upper hand in the ongoing battle against weeds.
If you’re reading this article, we can probably assume that you already understand at least some of the myriad benefits of making mulch a significant addition to your landscaping.
For anyone who may need a quick refresher, try thinking of mulch as an insulator that also happens to double as decoration.
Mulch helps your soil retain its moisture—about 20 percent more than would exist without the mulch—and that’s beneficial for any sort of garden or landscape growing. Mulch also helps to insulate plants, and it does an excellent job of keeping weeds from growing.
Mulch and gravel play an important role in garden and landscaping projects. Think of them as the icing on the cake that is your property: a pleasant finishing touch.
Today we’re going to look at the some of the pros and cons of the two landscaping materials to help you decide which is better for your home.
For our purposes, “mulch” is a catch-all term that refers to a gardening material that’s typically made from wood. It’s used to add visual appeal, but also to improve the health of your soil.
Benefits of mulch:
- It’s easy to install and inexpensive, and soft and easy to walk on.
- Mulch made from wood/tree bark adds organic matter to your soil as it breaks down.
- Mulch retains moisture in your soil, so you’ll need to water less regularly.
- It has a dark color that contrasts well with the green of your lawn and other plants.
- With mulch, there’s no need for you to install an edging material or weed barrier.
What is a mulch?
Mulch is a landscaping material that is spread or laid over the surface of the soil to cover it. Its main purpose is to keep the moisture in the soil, prevent the weeds from growing and keep the soil cool; plus an added bonus to keep the garden look pretty. Organic mulches, because they decompose, helps in keeping the soil fertile and saves you from buying fertilizers that can be very expensive.
Type of Mulch
There are two types of mulches:
Examples of organic mulches are compost, newspaper, composted manure, chipped or shredded bark, shredded leaves and grass clippings, or straw.
Organic mulches decompose through time and needs to be replaced when it does. This type of mulch will help in improving the soil by adding to its organic content. Keep in mind that the drier and the woodier the mulch, the longer decomposition time and the nutrients it provides the soil will be lesser.
Examples of synthetic mulch are landscape fabrics, stones, gravels, and black plastic. They are good for holding moisture in and blocking weeds. The only drawback with inorganic mulches is that they do not provide any nutrients to the soil plus, they don’t require any replacement any time soon. Continue reading