The Benefits of Mulching Your Garden

Mulching is a major step in creating a garden that is wonderful, well-kept and full of highly nourished trees and plants. Mulch is a material that acts as a protective barrier on the ground around plants. There are two types of mulches —organic and non-organic. Both varieties provide many benefits.

What does mulch contain?

Materials used to create organic mulches include wood chips, pine, leaves, compost, grass clippings, animal manure and more. Non-organic mulches contain materials like rubber, plastic, gravel, and pebbles. You have to consider your final application when you’re choosing mulch. Consider the theme of the garden and the type of plants that you’re growing, and pick your mulch accordingly. Pine straw, for example, is great for acid loving plants like strawberries or blueberries. Before we learn more about good mulching practices, let us take a look at some of the benefits of mulching.

Top 5 reasons why you should mulch 

1.Moisture retention  Both organic and non-organic mulches retain soil moisture and prevent your plants from drying out, especially in the hot and dry months. Because of this, you will have to water less frequently. You should benefit from lower water bills.

2.Inhibits the growth of weeds  If you mulch open spaces in your garden, you will stop weeds in their tracks. The mulch prevents sunlight from reaching the weeds and thereby inhibits weed germination and growth.

3.Reduces soil erosion  Mulch acts as a barrier, preventing rainwater from hitting the soil with force and washing it away. It also regulates soil temperature fluctuations that are known to damage plants.

4.Nourishes the soil  Not only does mulch prevent nutrient-rich soil from being washed away, but it also releases nutrients into the ground. Organic mulches, in particular, decompose and nourish the soil over time.

5.Wards off pests Certain varieties of mulch deter pests in your garden. Mulches that are highly fragrant or those that have insect repelling properties are the best. Cedar bark is one such example.

Mulching Tips 

While organic mulches add value to the soil and promote soil micro-organism activity, non-organic mulches make your garden look uniform, and they’re perfect for creating garden paths or play areas. To keep your garden healthy, make sure the mulch is between 75 and 100 mm in depth. Don’t apply more than a 4-inch thick layer of mulch as this will stop water from getting into the soil. Besides, pests may just end up building their homes beneath the mulch.  One of the other things to bear in mind is to avoid applying mulch to areas of the garden that become water-logged. Mulch will only exacerbate the problem by retaining water and trapping more moisture than required. To overcome this issue, make sure you find out more about the soil that’s in your garden and the needs of your plants.  Mulching can be very beneficial for your garden. To reap the rewards of this simple process, find out which mulching material is best for your geographic area and research the type of mulches available to find the right one for your garden, your plants and your lifestyle.