5 Ways to Use Mulch to Beat the Summer Heat

Beat the Summer Heat with Mulch

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, summer for 2021 will have above-normal hot temperatures for two-thirds of the country.

With the summer heat expected to be extreme this year, your garden will require extra protection. You’ve spent hours upon hours doing back-breaking work to get your garden planted. No one wants to see all their hard work go to waste because of hot temperatures. Watching your beautiful flowers wilt and your vegetables shrivel under the scorching sun can be frustrating.

Mulch is a great way to help protect all of your efforts. Adding mulch to a yard brings with it many great benefits. Instead of your garden dying off because of the summer heat, your mulched garden will continue to flourish.

Are you curious about all the advantages that mulch has to offer? Then keep reading! This article will delve into five main reasons you should add mulch as part of your lawn care!

1. Mulch Retains Moisture in the Soil

When the summer heat ramps up, you’ll have to worry about more than just a sunburn. The summer sun can end up baking the soil. All moisture will evaporate from the soil. The soil then becomes hot and dry around the roots of a plant. Once this happens, your plants will suffer.

A large part of garden maintenance includes ensuring your plants remain healthy through the hottest part of summer. By adding mulch, you can help prevent evaporation.

Mulch not only acts as a fertilizer as it breaks down, but it can also shield the soil from the sun. Mulching can give you a significant reduction in soil moisture loss.

When applying mulch, you should try to add about three to four inches. This will help ensure that moisture retention remains high.

2. Mulch Reduces Water Run-Off

When the summer heat is at its peak, sometimes a thunderstorm can feel like a blessing. Your garden has been wilting from both the heat and lack of water, and now a thunderstorm is here to give relief. 

However, all that intense heat can leave your soil as hard as concrete. If the soil is dried out and compacted, water will be unable to soak through to the plant’s roots. If you’ve ever noticed large amounts of water pooling on top of the surface of the ground and draining away, you may be suffering from this very problem.

Mulching can help with this problem. By adding mulch to your garden, you will help reduce how much water run-off occurs when it rains or even when you water your garden. In the long term, the use of mulch will also help reduce the overall amount of water that your garden requires.

Mulch is able to retain moisture and prevent the summer heat from leaching water from the soil. This means that the soil itself will remain moist for longer periods of time. So, the next time it rains or you water your garden, the soil will be more porous and able to absorb the water with ease.

3. Mulch Regulates Soil Temperature

Have you ever kept a plant well-watered and even shaded it from the intense afternoon sun, only to have it still die? This could be due to the soil’s temperature. As the sun shines on the ground day in and day out, it raises the soil temperature. Even if you keep a particular part of your garden shaded, the soil temperature can still be high from the surrounding areas.

Mulching acts as an insulator. It helps to keep your soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. With the soil being cooler, it helps protect the roots of plants from drying out or going into heat shock. Another benefit of well-regulated soil temperature is it helps encourage better growth of plants.

4. Mulch Prevents Soil from Becoming Compacted

As previously mentioned, your soil can become compacted over time. Causes of soil compaction are it being dry from the summer heat and rain beating down on it. 

When your soil is too compacted, it’s unable to absorb water. This means that water will sit on the surface of the ground and then drain away or evaporate. If water can’t absorb through the top layer of compacted soil, then the roots of your plants will remain thirsty. In the end, this will lead to your plants dying.

Another downside to the soil being too compacted is that it will stifle plant growth. This is all the more true for young plants that are not yet mature. While plants are growing, their roots need to be able to spread. A healthy root system allows them to absorb more water and be rooted into the ground well. 

If the soil is too compacted, roots will be unable to penetrate the hard soil. This can lead to a plant becoming root-bound and suffocating. Mulch will help keep the soil of your garden moist, which in turn prevents it from becoming too hard.

5. Mulch Protects Soil Microorganisms

There are many beneficial microorganisms that dwell in the soil of your garden. Like with most things, extreme heat can kill these organisms. If your garden lacks beneficial microorganisms, this can lead to the development of harmful bacteria and fungal infections. Applying mulch to your garden will keep the soil temperature regulated, which in turn helps protect microorganisms from the summer heat. 

Even other creatures like earthworms will benefit from the mulch. Mulch helps to attract earthworms, as they are drawn to the nutrients it adds into the soil and the cooler temperatures. If the soil is cool and stays moist, earthworms will begin to favor your garden. Your plants will then benefit from the increased population of earthworms and soil microorganisms.

Mulch Your Garden to Keep It Healthy

Are you ready to have a healthy garden and add mulch to your landscape? Then McCarty Mulch & Stone can help! We offer only the highest quality of mulch around. We manufacture and process our own mulch. By controlling the process from start to end, we are able to ensure that you get premium mulch you can trust.

Contact us today if you have any questions!