Posted On March 28, 2014 By In Home & Garden With 1764 Views

West Coast Gardener: Why Mulch is So Right

– by Colin Eaton, Garden City Tree and Landscape Ltd. –

Contrary to the saying “everything in moderation,” you can never have enough top dressing of mulch. Mulch is more beneficial the more you use. A good mulching job will have the following benefits:

• hinders weed germination and growth;
• holds in soil moisture, which means less frequent watering;
• protects soil from erosion;
• adds nutrients to your garden as it breaks down;
• reduces soil compaction;
• helps maintain a more even soil temperature; and
• provides an appealing, finished, formal look to any garden

Mulch promotes the overall health of your garden no matter what time of year it is.

Mulching in the Spring

Spring is an ideal time to apply mulch to your garden beds. It will help hold the moisture, which ensures the soil will not dry out come those hotter summer months. Mulch will also keep the temperature of plant roots cooler, which will put less stress on them. Proper mulching can reduce the need to weed by as much as 75 to 85 percent! Mulching in the spring will also give your plants the boost of nutrients they need to have a prosperous growing season.

Mulching in the Fall

Mulching in the fall will protect the soil and the delicate plant roots from the cold and rain. This protection is vital for the microorganisms that live in the soil. In the winter months, mulched soil may not freeze as deeply as unmulched soil. It acts as an insulating layer, and will protect those more delicate plants over the colder months. Mulching in the Fall will reduce the amount of weeding the following Spring.

What Type of Mulch to Use? Leaf vs bark mulch: 

Leaf mulch breaks down quickly, so it provides quicker nutrients to the microorganisms that feed the plants. Leaf mulch is the choice if your garden is in need of nutrient now.

Bark mulch can make your garden look neat and attractive; however, it takes about two to three times longer to break down than leaf mulch. Bark mulch is an ideal choice after you have used leaf mulch for a season or two.

Whatever choice you make, choose to mulch sooner rather than later. Your garden will love you for it!

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