Simplify your gardening experience -- add mulch!
Mulch is one of the best additions you can make to your garden. It saves you from tedious weeding (a.k.a. saves you time), and makes your garden look better! Mulch also helps reduce the amount of water your garden needs. If you are needing some help with what to do when applying mulch, we’ve listed some ideas below.
Organic vs. Inorganic
The hardest part of mulching is deciding which kind to use.There are two different kinds of mulch: organic and inorganic. Although both kinds get rid of weeds, they also have differences that should be considered. Organic mulch consists of things like grass clippings, straw, chopped leaves, bark, compost, and other dead material. Inorganic mulch consists of things like landscape fabric, gravel, and stones. The one you pick will depend on your plants and the look you are wanting for your garden. Here are some pros and cons of both:
Organic - Organic mulch is favorable because it breaks down and enriches your soil. However, this does mean that you have to keep replacing the mulch, which means that you have to buy more. But, if you have your own compost, or shredded leaves from your own trees, this would not pose a problem. Organic mulch also creates a more natural look in your garden.
Inorganic- Inorganic mulch is great because you only have to buy it once. Things such as gravel and stones soak up the sun’s heat in the day, thus keeping your plants warm at night. This is either a good or a bad thing, depending on what certain plants need. Although it’s a little expensive, landscape fabric is a great option because it does a really good job of keeping the weeds out. You’d need to put stones or a different material on top of the landscape fabric. If you want a vibrant look added to your garden, go with inorganic mulch.
Tips Here are some things to pay attention to while you are applying mulch to your garden:
- Avoid using black plastic around your trees, shrubs, perennials, etc. This will block them from getting enough water. Use black plastic with your strawberries and tomatoes (annual crops). Just be sure that you either hand-water them or install a watering system underneath the plastic. Remove the plastic when the season is over.
- Choose a non-toxic garden hose to water plants you have mulched around. You have invested money in a quality mulch that doesn't have chemicals. Choosing the right water hose will make sure the water travelling through your drinking safe water hose isn't picking up chemicals that could be harmful to your plants or flowers.
- Be aware that whatever mulch you choose will not affect the pH level of your soil, unless it is very sandy soil.
- Rocky mulch can collect dirt and debris over time. If this isn’t cleaned, weeds will grow and you’ll eventually have to replace the mulch. Use a leaf blower every now and then to clean off the dirt and debris.
- If you’re planning on using compost as mulch, be sure that it is not dry. This will bring the opposite effect you are wanting from mulch -- it will dry your soil out and dehydrate your plants. Try sprinkling your compost over your soil and then add shredded leaves on top.
- If you’re using hay as mulch, make sure it’s seedless hay! Do not put the hay up to the stems of vegetables or tree trunks. This will bring slugs and rodents to your plants.
Hope this helped! Comment below with tips of your own or suggestions on what you’d like us to write about!
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Posted by Kylie on March 2, 2015 at 5:45 PM