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.
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