Can You Mulch in the Late Summer?

The Covid pandemic brought a lot of misery in its wake, but it also had some beneficial side effects. For example, around 55 percent of US households engage in some level of gardening post-Covid, and more households plan on taking it up.

It’s not just casual landscaping or flower beds, either. An estimated 35 percent of households now grow some of their own vegetables.

Of course, much of this interest in gardening is centered on millennials, who often have limited experience with gardening. They routinely have questions like, “What is mulch,” and “Can I do summer mulching late in the summer?”

If you’ve wondered whether mulching in the late summer is acceptable, keep reading. We’ll explore what you need to know about late summer mulching.

summer mulchingWhat Is Mulch?

One of the problems that many gardeners face is how to keep moisture in the soil during the hot summer months. Almost as pressing is the question of how to minimize weed growth.

As it turns out, mulch is the answer to both of those questions. Mulch is essentially anything you spread out on the surface of the soil around the things you specifically plant. It helps trap moisture in the soil and prevents weed growth.

Types of Mulch

There are a couple of major types of mulch. There are natural mulches and artificial mulches. Natural mulches are mulches made of a variety of natural materials, such as:

  • Wood chips
  • Sawdust
  • Grass clippings
  • Straw
  • Compost
  • Shredded bark

Artificial mulches or inorganic mulches include materials like gravel, rubber, and plastic.

Can You Mulch in Late Summer?

The short answer is yes. You can do late summer mulching.

The longer answer is that late summer mulching may provide you with mixed results. The good news is that the worst-case scenario is that the mulching simply won’t help. The best case scenario is the mulch will still improve moisture retention and limit weed growth.

A solid layer of mulch can also help to stabilize soil temperatures during the cold winter months. While that won’t do much in extreme cold, it may provide some benefits in moderate climates.

What is the Best Time of Year to Mulch?

If late summer isn’t the best time to mulch, what time of year should you aim for to get the best results? Late spring to early summer is typically the best time for your mulching efforts. It gets you ahead of the weeds and provides a foundation for moisture retention all summer.

Summer Mulching and You

Summer mulching, particularly late in the season, isn’t necessarily your best bet. Sure, there are probably still some hot days ahead, but the growing season is also coming to an end.

If you do go down that road, though, the worst thing that happens is that you spend a few bucks for middling results. The best thing that happens is that your plants do well for a little longer.

McCarty Mulch & Stone specializes in landscape products. If you need help picking a mulch, contact McCarty Mulch & Stone today.