7 Things You Ought to Know About Mulch
Selecting mulch in today’s market may seem a lot like shopping for ceramic tiles: you have seemingly endless color options, including brilliant blue, dark red, ruby red, black, amber, gold, green or basic brown. With mulch increasingly being praised for its decorative properties, it’s easy to lose sight of the benefits that it can bring to your landscaping and gardening projects.
Before rushing off to grab your designer choice in mulch, make sure you understand what you should be doing to get maximum benefits. Here are 7 things to consider:
- Understand the benefits of mulch. Keep in mind that the whole business of mulching is to help your soil retain moisture, prevent the growth of weeds and minimize erosion. That’s why experts recommend that you start laying mulching before the temperatures get too hot.
- Choose mulch from trusted suppliers. It’s important that your mulch provider follows best storage practices. According to Purdue Extension specialists, if wood mulch has been improperly stockpiled, it can sour. This can cause problems with your plants, causing damage or total loss. Signs that you’re using sour mulch: plants look like they have been burned by fertilizer or pesticides shortly after the mulch is applied. Take a tour of your supplier’s property if you have concerns.
- Remove old mulch. Before laying new mulch, remove some of the mulch in the bed, especially if it has been built up for several seasons.
- Choose colored mulch as an accent. When selecting mulch, especially the more brightly colored types, keep your overall landscaping, home, and plants in mind. A dark neutral mulch can provide a nice contrast to colorful plants, while rich brown pine bark can complement a more subdued landscape.
- Use the right amount. About 3 inches of mulch is adequate for most applications. With delicate plants, try 2 inches of mulch so you don’t smother them. If necessary, apply another thin layer of mulch if you find that weeds are pushing through in your beds.
- Mulch around trees and bushes. Don’t stop at mulching around plant beds. Your trees and bushes could also use some attention to ensure that they’re protected and receiving adequate moisture.
- Don’t forget winter mulch. When you apply mulch before winter hits, you protect your plants from wide temperature fluctuations in the soil, which can be damaging. Applying mulch in the winter is a process that is designed to keep plants dormant — not warm. Timing is essential. Don’t apply it too early, or plants may become smothered and diseased. Instead, apply it after the temperatures remain consistently below freezing and plants are completely dormant. Winter mulch isn’t about decoration, it’s about function: choose straw, grass clippings and pine needles to start.
Unsure where to go for the best mulch in greater Indianapolis? Contact us for diverse options at a great price.