First of All, What is Mulch?
At its simplest, mulch is a material that covers the soil for a variety of reasons, usually controlling weeds. Mulch is usually made of wood chips, from pine to cedar. It can come in a range of color and texture to match and enhance the landscape. Today, we will go over why landscapers recommend using mulch in your yard.
What Is Mulch Used For?
There’s a reason we call mulch a gardener’s best friend. Here are the top three benefits you will see when you use mulch:
- Reduce weed growth by protecting the soil from light exposure.
- Keep moisture contained and reduce water loss from the soil.
- Moderate the temperature of the soil, keeping it warmer on cold nights and cooler on warm days.
Additional Benefits of Mulching
There are many other benefits that you might not have thought of:
- Your soil in winter will be warmer than unprotected soil. Protect your plants from the cycle of freezing and thawing.
- Reduces soil erosion and often reduces soil compaction.
- Prevents crust on the soil’s surface because water will move more readily into the soil instead of running off.
- Reduces plant diseases by keeping soil from splashing onto leaves.
- Break down and feed the soil.
- Improves the structure of clay soils and the moisture-holding capacity of sandy soils.
- Slowly increases soil fertility, and may make micronutrients already in the soil more available.
- Warm the soil in spring, allowing the gardener to plant days or weeks before the soil would normally be ready.
- Keeps plants clean and off the ground, especially tomatoes and melons, to avoid plant disease.
- Limits chance of hitting and damaging tree when mulch is placed around trees instead of grass (but not against bark).
- Improves plant health and growth (due to fewer weeds, more constant moisture and soil temperature).
- Spiffs up your gardens and makes them more attractive. Gives a uniform appearance and rhythm to your garden design.