Mulching planting beds are a fantastic way to help hold soil moisture, keep weeds down, regulate soil temperatures, and return organic material back into the soil. However, you can over-do it, so refer to the tips below to mulch with confidence this spring.
- Plants really only need 2-4” of mulch to achieve the above-mentioned goals, so please cool it after 4”! Excess mulch can bury the roots and actually prevent water and valuable nutrients from reaching your plants.
- It may not be necessary every year. Depending on how the mulch broke down, or if you skimped on your spring cleanup (or if your town now bans leaf-blowers) then you may only need to reapply sparingly this year. This saves time and money!
- No volcanoes! Pull the mulch away from the base of plants as this promotes excess moisture, which causes rot, adventitious roots, or girdling roots around the stem.
- Please refrain from using dyed mulches as they are made from recycled wood products that have the potential to contain chemicals from pressure treated wood. These chemicals have been shown to contaminate the soil where dyed mulch was used.
- Buy mulch from a trusted vendor. As with plants, mulch is a living material and using lower quality products can lead to disastrous results. Stockpiling large quantities of mulch can create overheating and a lack of oxygen that drops the ph and burns plants and turf when used.
- Many hands make light work! Enlist family and friends to come to your aide, so a weekend chore turns into an opportunity to bond. Bringing family and friends together is what landscapes are great for!