I don’t know about you, but whenever I mulch my gardens it’s like an instant makeover for my yard. Everything just looks better. It adds that curb appeal that is impressive, especially when the mulch is fresh. But did you know beyond appearance there are other benefits of mulching in the spring?
How much mulch do I need?
Depending on the type of mulch you choose, a layer should be between 2 to 4 inches. For mulch that is finely textured, stay in the 2 to 3 inch range. For mulch that is course, you can go up to 4 inches. This is the ideal depth to retain moisture and keep weeds under control. Too much mulch and you might suffocate roots since plants need air to survive. It also may prevent water from filtering through for your plant’s survival.
Retain the soil’s moisture
Mulch works to combat moisture loss during the summer heat. It benefits you because you spend less time and money watering your garden. Plus, consistent moisture means your plants are less likely to become stressed, making them more resistant to insects and disease.
By applying up to four inches of mulch in your garden, it will help mitigate evaporation of the water needed for your plants to thrive. The mulch does this by insulating the roots and keeping them at a constant temperature.
Mulch acts as a natural barrier by depriving weeds of necessary sunlight to thrive. Because the seeds need the sun to germinate, the mulch makes it difficult for them to survive. Additionally, bare areas are easy places for the seeds to land and grow. But if there’s a layer of mulch between the seeds and the soil, it’s much more difficult for the weeds to grow and take over your garden.
When you cover bare soil in your garden with mulch, it helps prevent erosion. So, when there’s inclement weather with heavy rain, the mulch serves as a cushion for the soil. By reducing the impact of the hard droplets, mulch helps keep the soil in place.
Keeps soil from compacting
When you’re working in your garden and it’s free of mulch, the soil is in danger of becoming compacted. However, if you’ve mulched, there’s a layer between your feet and the soil. In this instance, the mulch serves as a protective layer for your soil.
It’s important to mitigate soil compaction because the roots have to work harder to push through the soil. This creates shorter roots, making it harder for your plants to take in water and nutrients. Ultimately, it leads to poor plant growth.
Controls soil temperature
A layer of mulch helps keep the roots of your plants cooler in the summer, but also keeps them warm in winter. Mulching in the early spring protects the plants that are starting to arrive, keeping them insulated from surprise cold spring weather or a surprise frost. Adding an additional layer of mulch around the base of plants can protect against frost.
Now you know there are other benefits of mulching besides just appearance. The mulch also retains moisture, suppresses weeds, prevents erosion, lessens soil compaction and controls soil temperature. Make sure you get your mulch ordered so it’s ready to be spread in late spring. Call a professional to help!