Mulch Basics

First of all any type of organic mulch is helpful in most garden bed situations. The majority of mulches are very beneficial because they break down over time and enrich the soil. But there are some exceptions, if someone uses rock or stones or the newer versions of plastic mulches, those won’t degrade. These are helpful if you don’t want to replace the mulch every season or need it to maintain a certain color and consistency.

We are able to provide any type of mulch a client prefers for their garden, we will also come out and look at your beds to make a suggestion for your property. At Nature’s Friend we can go get the mulch for you, transport it to your property and carefully lay it down around all your plants and shrubs in your beds.

Early spring or late fall are the perfect times to put down a good, thick layer of mulch as these are times where the perennials and most annuals are no longer above ground. This enables us to lay the mulch in a very consistent manner all throughout the garden. However, mulch can be applied any time of the year; your plants will be thankful for organic mulches whenever you want to provide it! But laying it down in the fall provides protection from the cold, keeping the ground a constant temperature to keep plants from coming up too early or being damaged due to frost heaves. Laying it in the spring time provides roots protection from the heat, and helps to retain moisture during dry times. Applying it twice a year is very beneficial but may be cost prohibitive for some.

If you choose to lay the mulch on your own it is very doable chore for most homeowners. Many types of mulch come by the bag for easy transport, but there are many which come in bulk so having an open bed truck is useful in this case. If you do put down organic mulches while the plants are still above ground be careful not to pile it around the base of perennials and annuals as it may cause rotting of the stems. Around trees and shrubs spread it out as much as possible and make a wide bowl like shape around the trunk, this will help retain moisture without having it right up against the bark which could cause damage where insects could enter.

Inorganic mulches, such as stone or plastic mulches as mentioned above, also provide benefits to the plants in the way of maintaining level soil temperatures and retaining some moisture. But they don’t break down and add to the soil in the way the hardwood mulches do, so think about their placement a little bit more when making mulching decisions.

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