Making Smarter Landscaping Choices

Understanding And Using Mulch In Your Landscape

It's no secret that mulch is one of the best things you can apply in your landscaping. Not only does it give your yard a polished and attractive appearance, it also provides many fringe benefits. The following guide can help you understand these benefits, along with the best ways to install the mulch so it provides the greatest benefit.

Mulch Benefits

The benefits of mulch are impressive. They include the following:

  • Moisture control. Mulch slows evaporative water loss from the soil, allowing irrigation water to seep deeply into the ground where it can provide optimum benefit to plant roots.
  • Weed suppression. A thick layer of mulch suppresses weeds. When weeds do manage to break through the mulch layer, they are often weak and shallow rooted, which makes them easy to pull.
  • Erosion control. Wind and rain can wash away the topsoil between your landscape plants. Mulch is heavier than dry topsoil and more likely to stay in place, making it an excellent erosion control method in small-scale landscape uses.

Types of Mulch

There are many options in mulch. The first thing you need to decide is whether you want natural or synthetic mulch. Generally, synthetic options, which are typically made of rubber, are best suited for commercial usages or beneath playsets. For home use, natural mulches are generally preferred. The options are as follows:

  • Pine straw. Pine straw is made from dry pine needles. It can be quite attractive, but due to its high acidity, it's typically only used around trees or acid-loving plants.
  • Straw. Unlike hay, straw is a grass that contains no seeds. It's primary usage is for vegetable gardens since it breaks down quickly and isn't as attractive as other mulch options.
  • Wood. Wood comes in two varieties -- bark or wood chips. Bark is sturdy and attractive, but expensive. The most common choice is wood chips. These are typically dyed to be more attractive. For a natural look, bring in chocolate brown mulch pallets. You can also find mulch pallets in other colors like black, red, and orange.
  • Rock. Rock mulch is attractive, but it is permanent. It's usually only used in xeriscaping, for pathways, or around desert plants.

Application Tips

Proper application is a must to get the most benefit. The following tips will ensure you use it correctly.

  • Install edging around the area to be mulched. The edging will prevent grass from growing into the garden bed, while also keeping the mulch contained.
  • Use landscaping fabric under mulch in perennial garden beds. The fabric will further prevent weeds from growing.
  • Reapply the mulch at least once annually. Organic mulches break down. Reapplying to maintain a layer at least 3 inches thick will provide the most benefits.
  • Pull mulch back so it doesn't sit directly against the trunk of a tree or shrub.

As you can see, mulch is a super addition to almost any landscape. Contact a wholesale mulch supplier to have a pallet delivered to your home today.