Choosing The Right Garden Mulch

Choosing The Right Garden Mulch

Gardens take on many shapes, sizes and characteristics.  All gardens, whether they are flower or vegetable, benefit from the use of mulch. When it comes to choosing mulch for a garden, it can be difficult to select from the many types of mulch on the market. Picking a mulch type is the first step when choosing mulch for the garden. Mulch is available in two basic types: organic mulch and inorganic mulch. Choosing the best mulch depends on a number of factors, including purpose, appearance, availability, and expense. Organic mulch provides a number of benefits for home gardeners. It keeps plant roots warm in winter and cool in summer. A 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch helps keep weeds in check and reduces watering requirements by minimizing evaporation. Organic mulches provide an attractive, natural appearance to the home landscape. Most organic mulches are relatively inexpensive and readily available, but the mulch must be replaced as it breaks down. However, the decomposing mulch improves soil structure and drainage while controlling soil erosion and minimizing dust.

Inorganic garden mulches are often applied on top of landscape fabric or black plastic to prevent the mulch from sinking into the soil. Most inorganic mulches aren’t easily displaced by wind or water, so replacement is rarely necessary. However, because inorganic mulch doesn’t decompose, the mulch doesn’t benefit the soil. Although some types of inorganic mulch may work well in a rock garden, light-colored inorganic mulches are often detrimental to plants because they reflect heat and sunlight that damage plants.

Garden With Black Mulch And Hostas

Garden With Black Mulch And Hostas

Before mulching, all weeds should be removed and the soil should be given a good, thorough soaking.

Garden With Red Mulch

Garden With Red Mulch

Wood is among the most common types of mulch. This variety comes in chips made from branches and bark.

Backyard Garden With Organic Mulches

Backyard Garden With Organic Mulches

The benefits of mulch are plentiful. For the busy gardener, it is a great time-saving device because it helps to prevent weeds from sprouting in the garden.

Garden With Concrete Patio Flooring And Using Mulches

Garden With Concrete Patio Flooring And Using Mulches

Mulch will enrich the existing soil and prevent rain and other elements from washing it away. Besides, a thick layer often looks much better in a garden than bare soil.

Backyard Garden With Mulches And Shrubs

Backyard Garden With Mulches And Shrubs

When choosing a mulch, there are several factors to take into consideration, including the types of plants it will be used with, the climate and even the type of soil underneath.

Garden With Black Mulch And Small Shrubs

Garden With Black Mulch And Small Shrubs

Mulch keeps a garden healthy and plants happy by providing a ground cover to retain moisture, tamp down weeds.

Vegetable Garden With Organic Mulches

Vegetable Garden With Organic Mulches

Some gardeners opt to use materials that may be less aesthetically pleasing, but offer other benefits. Straw and dead leaves, for example, are standard types of mulch.

Backyard Garden With Pathway And Mulches

Backyard Garden With Pathway And Mulches

Mulch is any material placed over soil in the garden. It's designed to retain moisture, deter weeds and keep the soil from eroding.

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