Why Mulching Your Garden is Important

by | Apr 1, 2014

Mulch is one of the best gifts you can give your garden. A well mulched garden will have happier, healthier plants and will save you time and money. Almost any organic material can work as mulch, but shredded hardwood bark, pine bark or pine straw are the best and most readily available options. Here are the most compelling reasons mulching your garden is an important garden chore.

MULCHING CONSERVES WATER

Topping the list is water conservation. Mulch reduces the demand for frequent watering during hot and dry weather. A layer of mulch on top of your garden soil reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation. Since the soil retains water for longer periods, plant roots can continue to draw on this available moisture. Mulch does not mean that you can forget about watering altogether, but you will use less water and your plants will be less stressed.

MULCH IMPROVES SOIL QUALITY

Over time, mulch will improve the quality of soil in your home garden. As a natural material, mulch slowly decomposes, adding nutrients and organic matter to the existing soil. The structure and composition of the soil is improved, which results in better aeration and water holding capacity. This is a slow process, but as you add fresh mulch on top, the lower layers will break down more quickly.

MORE MULCH, FEWER WEEDS

A thick layer of mulch reduces the number of weeds in your garden. Weed seeds can still blow in and germinate in the mulch, but seeds that are in the soil below will be much less likely to sprout through the mulch.

YOUR LANDSCAPE LOOKS BETTER WITH MULCH

Mulch improves the appearance of your garden. A mulched planting bed looks neat and tidy with mulch providing a backdrop to show off the foliage and flowers of your ornamentals. If you place mulch with clean, defined edges it makes a clear and attractive contrast with adjacent lawn areas. You are also more likely to maintain a mulched bed; picking up fallen branches and pulling the occasional weed is easier than heavy and consistent weeding.

WHEN TO MULCH

If your landscape or garden needs mulch, there is no wrong time to apply it, but some times of year are better than others. You will get more of the benefits that mulch offers if you spread it in spring, before active growth begins in the garden. Mulch is easier to put in place when there is less foliage in the way. Your plants will be mulched before hot weather arrives and their water demands increase. Mulching your garden in spring is also a nice way to freshen up its appearance for the new season.

Three to four inches of mulch is a good depth for most gardens. Get in touch with us if you need to buff up your garden with some new mulch. You will lower your water bill, have fewer weeds to pull and more time to enjoy your garden.

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