Mulch is generally defined as peat, straw, or leaves and is made up of decaying organic material. Mulching can be one of the best things a gardener can do for his or her plants. There are all kinds of benefits that Mulch can offer. First off in the article let’s take a look at the benefits of mulching and then we’ll explore what kind of mulch works best in what situations. Mulch greatly helps to save the gardener energy as it has more than one useful function. You may be surprised at the vast amount of benefits that mulching brings.
Benefits of Mulch
- A layer of mulch around some of your plants can help to prevent unwanted weeds from germinating.
- It can also help to conserve water within the soil and helps to regulate the soil temperature so that you don’t have to water your plants as often.
- Mulches protect the soil from rain drops which can cause crusting.
- Mulches that are composed of decaying organic material such as grass, leaves, or wood chips can help add valuable organic matter to the soil as they decompose.
- Mulches made up of organic material can also promote the growth of beneficial soil organisms and worms.
- An often overlooked benefit of mulches is that they can help your garden look more aesthetically pleasing. Brown bark mulch around some plants for example can offer some nice contrast.
- During a rainstorm mulches can cut back on soil being splashed onto the leaves of plants.
- The best overall benefits of mulches are that they help to improve the soil structure and help to provide essential nutrients for your plants.
The type of mulch you use really depends on the situation. The best kinds of mulches to use are made up of organic matter such as grass, leaves, or manure as these add nutrients to the soil as well as offering all the standard benefits that mulch brings. If your primary purpose for mulching is to get rid of weeds than a layer of newspaper with grass scattered on top of it is a very effective mulch. If the plants you want to mulch are in front of your house though you may want to use bark mulch instead for a more aesthetically pleasing look. If you are mulching around plants that will be present for a long time, such as bushes, than you can also use rocks, brick chips, or marble chips. It is important to remember though that when using non-organic based mulch material that you give up lots of the benefits that organic based mulch offers. Which ever mulch you end up deciding on make sure that the layer of mulch covering your garden is about 3 inches thick in order to maximize the benefits of mulching.