Mulch is any soil covering material intended to improve the area in which it is used. It is a vital step in maintaining the health and beauty of your lawn or garden. Mulching in general decreases the need for herbicide use to kill weeds and helps protect your plants and lawn in harsh temperatures. The layer of mulch will help keep the soil a healthy temperature and protect it from drying out. The mulch you use can be inorganic, or organic, and both provide their own benefits.
Benefits of Mulching
Decreased chances of need for herbicide to deal with problem weeds
Increase moisture retention of the soil
Keep the soil at a healthy temperature
Prevents crusting of the soil surface
Increases root length in plants allowing them access to more nutrients
Can add to the beauty of the landscape when used correctly
Inorganic Mulch and Its Benefits
Inorganic mulch is any mulch that does not occur naturally in nature. This would be chips of plastic, ground rubber tires, or crushed stones. These types can be purchased at any local all-purpose shop such as Walmart or in a garden center.
Inorganic mulch is available all year round for purchase. That same guarantee can not be made for organic forms. Organic mulch will have fluctuating prices depending on what season their producers are currently working in.
Organic Mulch and Its Benefits
Organic mulches occur naturally in nature. Although you can find them in your own natural surroundings, you may need more than just what you have access to. You can purchase them in any all purpose store or garden center.
Although organic mulch may be more expensive, the extra cost is well worth the added benefits. For starters it is much more eco-friendly than man-made materials. They will decompose and increase the richness of the soil and the overall structure. Organic mulch can also be free if you’re not picky. Fallen leaves, pieces of bark, fallen fruit, can all be used as mulches and you can gather those yourself.
Aesthetically Pleasing Mulches
One benefit to mulches above the increased health to your soil, plants, and grass is that is can turn any plain yard or garden into a masterpiece. Inorganic plastic mulches come in a variety of colors and you can be the Picasso of your own backyard. Organic mulches such as barks or wood chips can also come in a variety of colors, although more limited than the inorganic types. Applying mulch is a great way to cover up soil in much need of attention while keeping your lawn or garden looking healthy.
National Resource Conservation Center