Why do we want to Mulch? and why does my garden need it?
Mulching is a practice that trees have been doing all by themselves for thousands of years. Each year, trees drop leaves or needles to the forest floor, forming a layer of organic matter. This layer serves many functions, but first and foremost it provides cover to the soil, reducing or eliminating erosion. This layer of leaves also helps to retain moisture, adds organic material to the root zone of the plant, and allows of recycling of nutrients.
Mulch in the landscape serves the same purpose, and also provides a number of other benefits. First and foremost, just like in the natural landscape, it helps to conserve and maintain soil moisture, which is a huge benefit for plants. In addition, mulch also provides the following benefits:
- The dark color of mulch serves to warm the soil, which promotes earlier root growth and earlier spring growth of plants
- Mulch helps to delay soil freezing and prevent frost heaving
- Mulch protects plants and plant roots from damage by equipment such as mowers and weed eaters
- Mulch minimizes compaction from traffic in the mulched area
- Mulch helps to suppress competing vegetation such as weeds and grass
- By covering the soil with mulch soil erosion is minimized
- Mulch slows runoff from rain events and allows moisture to soak into the ground
- Mulch enhances garden and landscape appearance
- Mulch makes garden and landscape maintenance easier.
Finally, using an organic mulch also adds organic matter to the soil, which serves to improve the soil’s water holding capacity, increases the number of microorganisms in the soil profile, and improves nutrient holding and supply of the soil.
If you require mulch for your garden then we use and recommend SouthPoint Garden Supplies (Formerly Grossmans Garden Supplies) they have a wonderful selection for mulch and composts.