Most people think mulch is for decoration, but it actually has a lot of benefits. Mulch comes in a variety of colors and of course, it is great for landscaping and accenting your home. However, there are other benefits to using mulch.
Mulch will reduce evaporation. It is the perfect defense against drought. It protects the soil and insulates it so that water cannot evaporate so quickly. This is why it is perfect for those that are looking to plant a garden. It also is a natural weed barrier, when applied properly and thick enough. Don’t use a thin layer to save money as it will not work as it should. A layer of 1-2 inches or so is important for it to hold in the moisture as well as stop any weed growth.
Mulch not only stops evaporation but also insulates the roots from heat. These are a great combo to those here in Texas as we all know we have some heat going on outdoors in the summer months. Roots like to remain cool, so having this insulating protection for the summer sun is vital. The thicker it is the fewer weeds are going to get through. However, it can suffocate the plants that you like and want to keep around so be sure they have enough vegetation growing and don’t cover that growing up with mulch. Covering will suffocate the plants and could kill them off.
Benefits of wood mulch
Mulch eventually will break down into your flower beds. This is just another added benefit. While some alternatives such as rubber mulch, rocks, and stones don’t offer this when used. Wood mulch is the most popular to use and it has the most benefits when used. However, wood mulch will have to be replaced every 1-2 years in order to keep the look and properties that you desire from it.
While mulch has many benefits, you need to be sure that you don’t apply it too early or it will not allow the soil to warm up. While many of us are eager to get our mulch out and applied before the heat flares up, it is important that you allow the ground to thoroughly thaw first. Also, you should let your plants get off to a good start before you start piling on the mulch. This will ensure that they will be back for the coming year.
Watch out for pests.
Pests sometimes will find their way into your mulch, so you should certainly keep an eye out for this. Termites love wood that is moist and breaking down. This won’t harm your mulch or surrounding plants most likely, however, it could be a horrible situation for your home. Be sure that you check your mulch to ensure that you are maintaining pests. There are sprays that you can use to help rid your mulch of the different pests. Slugs also like mulch and see your plants as lunch.
Be sure that you don’t pile on your mulch too deep around trees and other shrubs. When possible keep the mulch away from the bark areas to keep it from rotting. Mulch is notorious for holding in moisture which is a good thing. However, that means that it will also rot. So, maintaining a safe distance is vital to the plant’s health.