Adding Mulch To Your Garden
Mulch is an incredibly versatile material for your garden. It acts as a plant protecter that prevents erosion and captures moisture as well as a purely aesthetic ground covering and edging material. As you get your mind in gardening mode consider where you would like to add mulch this spring and what kind is best for you.
Mulch comes in two basic kinds: inorganic or organic. Organic mulch is the kind you probably pictured in your head when you started reading this article: tree bark, wood, and other organic materials. Organic mulch is perfect because it is safe for your plants, will decompose into the soil, and is easy to move around when making changes to your space. Inorganic mulch is made of materials like stone (or gravel, if you will). Generally you would install inorganic mulch on landscape fabric. While it’s virtually maintenance-free, it is much harder to move when making changes to your garden space. Both allow plants to grow through and keep weeds out while capturing moisture and protecting the roots.
Before making a purchase make sure you know what kind of mulch is right for your garden. Even after you have passed the “organic or inorganic” question you still have a ways to go. Organic mulch can be made from many different things. You want to take into account rainfall so you don’t buy something that will wash away as well as a material that is best for your area and safe around pets and kids. After that you can select what color you want. Mulch generally comes in natural colors from light to very dark with different colors looking better with different plants and climates.
When trying to figure out how much you will need the best bet is to talk to the garden supply store you are purchasing from or do a search for mulch calculators online. Generally you will want a 2-3 inch thick covering over the area you plan to add mulch to.
After you buy get going! There is really no best time to lay it down. As long as the ground isn’t covered in snow you are set to go. Be sure to clear the area of weeds before you start. Your best bet is to keep mulch only 2-3 inches thick. If you make it too thick you are creating a great place for pests to fester. Use the same rule around every part of your garden or yard. Once you are finish water the area to make sure everything stays put.