There are tons of benefits to using the right amount and type of mulch, but it never seems to get its chance in the spotlight. It always seems to be about the trees, the flowers, the grass, and the edging, but never the mulch. But without a doubt, mulch is one of the most crucial parts of a beautiful and thriving garden area.
Benefits Of Mulch
Clean & Classic Look
Mulched planting beds and landscaped areas just look nice. They have the classic “beautiful yard” look, and they provide a cleaner aesthetic than open soil.
Mulch prevents too much evaporation from the ground, leading to healthier roots overall. Much will, as a highly porous organic material, hold lots of moisture itself. This leads to less watering and protection from drought.
Areas prone to wind or water erosion can be kept in a healthier state by adding mulch. It prevents loose topsoil from blowing or washing away as well. This can improve your soil health over time.
Boosts Soil Nutrition
Over time, mulch breaks down into the very same components that make up soil and fertile compost. By adding these components to unhealthy soil as mulch, you can add the very things your land needs to become healthier and a protective cover, all at once.
Helps Temperature Regulation
By keeping the baking summer sun off of the first few inches of topsoil where tender roots are, mulch can help younger and more delicate plants survive harsher conditions. This also helps keep the soil moist for nutrient absorption.
Less Waste In Landfills
A large portion of the material used for mulches is often slated for a landfill. Many organic “yard waste” components like bark, leaves and wood particulates are considered lawn refuse by many. This can lead to them being put in the garbage to go to the dump.
Types Of Mulch
The most beneficial aspects of mulch come from the decomposition of the organic material over time. This means that heavier, “chunkier” mulches that can break down over several seasons are more effective than others.
These are some of the best materials for mulch and can be processed to reduce decomposition time if needed. If you leave them whole and rake them into your beds, they will break down over about two years. If you shred or mulch them first, they will feed your garden from the spring thaw to the fall’s first hard frost.
Wood chips are great for mulch and will break down over the course of a few years to continually feed your soil. The downside to wood is that it is often one of the more expensive options, but if you needed any more than about two dozen bags, a bulk delivery would often be more economical.
Straw & Hay
Hay is a grass crop that is likely to contain seed and will break down quicker than straw. Hay is often treated with herbicide, so be sure the product you purchase isn’t. Straw is the stalk of any grain crop and generally won’t contain any seed material. Straw also takes longer to break down than hay, but it is easier to work with.
This is another material you may be able to get for free. As long as the grass has been dried before it is added to the soil as mulch, it works great and adds valuable nitrogen to the soil. However, if it is added wet, however, it can generate heat and even harbor mold growth, both of which can damage your plants.
Call the Professionals at American Tree & Lawn
American Tree and Lawn has highly trained professionals to help you create the landscape of your dreams. Call us today to schedule a consultation. One of our experts will stop by to look at your lawn and discuss your plans and goals.