Why You Should Apply Fall Mulch

Fall Mulch
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Why You Should Apply Fall Mulch

The Benefits to Applying Mulch in the Fall

Some realtors recommend that homeowners should spend between 5 and 10% of their home’s value on landscaping. It can instantly boost your home’s curb appeal, whether you’re planning to sell or not. 

That said, even 5% of your home’s value can amount to thousands of dollars. After spending that kind of money, it can feel disheartening when your plants don’t make it. 

Luckily, applying fall mulch can help protect your landscape and garden through the winter and save you the trouble of buying new plants in the spring. Read on to learn why mulching should be on your fall landscaping to-do list. 

Insulates the Ground from Temperature Changes

In the winter months, the ground freezes and thaws several times throughout the winter. These extreme temperature changes are very hard on your plants. 

Mulch acts as a barrier and blanket for your flower beds by keeping the temperature at a moderate level and avoiding extreme temperatures. 

Keeps Weeds at Bay

You might think weeds are only a problem in the spring and summer, but fall is actually a crucial time for weed prevention. Applying fall mulch while doing gardening can prevent many weeds from sprouting when the seasons change. 

As soon as the weather heats up in the spring, your plants will start to grow rather than the weeds.  

Fall MulchPrevents the Loss of Topsoil

During blustery winter storms, bare topsoil can get carried off in the wind. You might not notice it’s happening until you see how shallow your flower beds look in the spring. 

Soil erosion can be an expensive problem to fix as you’ll need to buy new topsoil. Plus, it can harm your plants.

Applying mulch in the fall will keep this valuable dirt from blowing away. It weighs down the dirt and holds it close to your plants and shrubs.  

Helps Retain Moisture

Spreading mulch in the fall also helps lock moisture into the soil. A thick layer of mulch helps insulate the dirt, not only from the cold but also from the dry air of winter. 

Think of your skin in the winter. You probably apply moisturizer to protect your skin’s barrier from getting dry. Mulch behaves in the same way. 

After fall mulching, you’ll have soil that’s moister and easier to work within the spring.  

Provides Nutrients to the Soil

Natural mulches like premium hardwood, cypress, cedar, and compost slowly break down over time. And when they decompose, it can release nutrients back into the soil. 

As the weather heats up in the spring, mulch will create more fertile soil. Plus, the warmth created by the mulch also helps microorganisms thrive. That also creates a healthier home for plants. 

Don’t Delay, Apply Fall Mulch Today

Fall mulch is an important step in any landscaping maintenance routine. It insulates the soil from cold weather, adds nutrients, and keeps weeds away. 

Whether you’re mulching your vegetable garden or your flower beds, McCarty Mulch and Stone can help. We offer a selection of premium mulches as well as home delivery to the Indianapolis area. 

Check out our mulch selection today and get it delivered as early as tomorrow. 

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What’s the Best Way to Apply Mulch?

Yes, there is a best way to apply mulch. Mulching is often simpler than many people make it out to be, but there are some best practices that will go a long way in making your mulch application more successful. There are only a few steps necessary when you find it time to lay down new mulch. If you aren’t sure which mulch is right for you, take a look at all the products on our website. Once you find the right one, use the mulch calculator to determine how much you might need!

Mulching is easy!

Remove the Old Mulch

First, you are going to want to take out a majority of the old mulch that is currently in your flower beds. Leaving the old mulch in will make your landscape look as though it is elevated. This elevation can lead to your plants not getting the nutrients necessary to grow because the roots are planted in the old mulch and not reaching the soil beneath. This is not always necessary, as mulch slowly decomposes over time and will eventually become soil.

Mulching Around Bushes

Mulching bed around the house and bushes, wheelbarrel along with a showel.

After scraping out the old mulch left in your beds, you may want to apply weed fabric over the top of your soil. Weed fabric can discourage weeds from growing in and around your plants and it also helps the soil to conserve moisture. Weed fabric is optional and totally up to you.

Collect the Right Tools for Mulching

It is now time to begin mulching! The process of mulching itself can be a daunting task, especially when dealt with a large pile in your driveway. For this reason, we recommend you get all the help you can to ensure that you aren’t left spreading mulch for weeks on end.

The Best Way to Apply Mulch

Grab a wheelbarrow, a shovel or a pitchfork, and a rake. Use the pitchfork or shovel to load the mulch into your wheelbarrow. Push the wheelbarrow over to your desired destination, and dump! After this, use the pitchfork to evenly distribute the mulch. Finish it off by going over it with the rake to ensure that you don’t miss any spots!

When applying the mulch, we recommend that you spread it anywhere between 2-4 inches deep. This will give your beds a clean, aesthetically pleasing look. You don’t want the soil underneath to be showing, but you also don’t want to make it look like you have mounds of mulch lying around in places.

Evenly spreading allows your landscape to look great and allows for the sunlight, water, and nutrients to seep through to your plant’s roots.

3 Ways Mulching Will Help Your Garden This Summer
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3 Ways Mulching Will Help Your Garden This Summer

Make Mulching this Summer a Priority

Once upon a time, homeowners around the country devoted their time and energy to unbroken lawns. Now, more homeowners are realizing that lawns use more water and create less biodiversity than beautiful, rewarding gardens.

If you’re experimenting with seasonal gardening, growing a flower garden, or cultivating a vegetable patch, you’re probably wondering how to enhance your efforts. If you haven’t already heard, mulching can provide unbeatable benefits that will keep your garden happy and healthy!

Why is mulching such a boon to gardens of any variety or size? We’re glad you asked! As always, it’s our goal to provide you with answers to all of your mulching questions.

Peruse our high-quality mulch and bulk mulch options and keep reading for three ways that mulching will help your garden this summer.

1. Make Your Water Usage Go the Extra Mile

One of the reasons that your lawn requires so much water is that grass and soil aren’t your best options for water retention. When the temperatures rise and daily sunlight increases, you lose a lot of water to evaporation. Plus, without any protective barriers, you may find yourself facing a large amount of water runoff.

Mulch creates a barrier between the elements and your soil. It keeps the heat out, which comes with the added bonus of protecting roots from overheating, and keeps the water in.

In fact, one study found that while gardens that don’t have mulch lose about 80% of rainwater to evaporation, mulched gardens only lose about 10% of rainwater to evaporation. That means that you can rely more on rain and break out the waterhose less often!

2. Reduce Erosion and Unwanted Growth While Increasing Root Protection

Adding a layer of mulch to your garden can offer it unparalleled protection. We mentioned water runoff earlier, so let’s start by getting back to water runoff and how it can affect your garden.

Water runoff occurs when water is not absorbed into the ground but instead, pools and moves on the surface. This, in turn, can cause your soil to erode, making a mess out of your garden and exposing vulnerable roots. Mulch helps your garden to absorb water and discourages runoff, which lowers your chances of dealing with erosion.

Mulch also makes the perfect garden topper because while it doesn’t harm growth, it also does not sustain growth. That means that new weeds won’t start popping up in your garden. Plus, weak weeds that took root before mulching will often struggle to break through that layer of mulch and eventually suffocate.

Plus, mulch doesn’t just protect your garden when it’s in full swing. Mulch provides a layer of insulation against the cold winter temperatures, preventing your soil from becoming frozen and compacted. This protects the root systems of your perennials, increasing their ability to come back next spring.

3. Boost Your Soil Health

There are a few ways that using organic mulch (ie wood chips, straw, or grass clippings) can improve the health of your soil.

For starters, mulch gives your layer of compost a fighting chance. Once again, this goes back to stopping water runoff! Laying compost is a great way to breathe life back into your soil, and mulch will make sure that your compost breaks down over the summer, rather than getting washed away.

In addition, organic mulch will start to break down over time, too. In fact, once you start mulching, it isn’t recommended that you remove old layers of mulch to lay new ones. Those older layers become a crucial part of your soil system, and removing them can break up soil and damage root systems.

Instead, it’s best to let old layers of mulch break down. During this process, your soil will become enriched with those nutrients! In turn, this will help to discourage your soil from becoming compact and create more space for your root systems to flourish.

Bonus Perk: Mulching Makes Your Garden Look Great

It may not come as a surprise that we’re enthusiastic about mulch. After all, with all of these great benefits, it’s hard to deny that mulch is a great tool that will easily enhance your garden!

On top of all those practical reasons comes a bonus perk: mulching makes your garden look absolutely incredible. Our mulches come in a variety of materials and colors to ensure that you find the perfect match for your garden. In fact, we use natural colorants to dye our mulches so that you can pick from brown, dark brown, black, red, and even golden!

Mulching your garden creates an even, finished look in your yard. Topping off your soil with one single, bold color also allows all those colorful plants (even the fruits and veggies) to truly pop! At the end of the day, mulching gives your yard a professional look that will have your neighbors convinced that you pay top-dollar for landscaping services.

Want Mulch Delivered to Your Door? We’re Here to Help!

We hope that after reading about the benefits of mulching, you’re as much of a mulching enthusiast as we are! Now, it’s time to start shopping for the perfect mulch for your gardening and landscaping needs.

We’re here to provide the highest-quality mulch for all Central Indiana homes and businesses. All you have to do is select the mulch that fits your needs and give us our delivery instructions. We’ll handle the rest!

Looking for more landscaping solutions? Shop our full mulch collection for everything from bulk soils to landscaping rock and driveway stone.

5 Ways to Use Mulch to Beat the Summer Heat
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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!

 

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Benefits of Mulch: How Mulch Can Help Weed Control and Soil Health

You may think that most people add mulch to their gardens and landscaping because of its aesthetic beauty, but there are many more reasons to use it than that.

Mulch looks great, but it also can be a big help when it comes to keeping your soil moist and healthy and it also will help you combat weeds.

The benefits of mulch are numerous and if you’re not using it on your property already, you’ll want to after reading this post.

Read on to learn about the wonders of mulch and why it’s a wonderful idea for any spot on your property that you want plants to grow and flourish.

Five Benefits of Mulch

There are two categories of mulch: organic and inorganic. Organic mulches include things like wood chips, grass clippings, or leaves. Many people like organic mulches because they are all-natural and are always changing. As they break down, they renew the soil, too.

On the other hand, some people prefer inorganic mulches. Some of these are all-natural too, like pebbles and gravel; other inorganic mulches include rubber or plastic mats or chips.

No matter which kind of mulch you like best, adding mulch to your garden and landscaping offers numerous benefits. You’ll soon wonder why you weren’t using it all along.

1. Moisture Retention

Perhaps the most common and useful of the benefits of mulch is to aid in the retention of moisture in your soil. When the sun beats down on the soil, it gets hot fast, and as a result, any water added to it evaporates quickly. Mulch acts as a shade to keep the soil cool, and the mulch itself blocks the evaporation, allowing the water to cycle back into the soil.

2. Weed Control

The second main reason that homeowners and gardeners in general use mulch is to control the growth of weeds. If your soil is open to the elements, weed seeds can land in your beds. As sun and water hit them, you’ve given them an optimal environment to grow.

Mulch blocks these things. Seeds are not as easily able to plant themselves in the soil and, even if they do, the sun will not reach them, and the weed seedlings will quickly die.

3. Added Nutrients

If you choose organic mulch, it will break down over time. As it does, it will release helpful nutrients into the soil. You may even be able to see your soil get darker; darker soil is more nutrient-rich than lighter-colored soil.

4. Erosion Blockage

Rain washes away unprotected soil through the process of erosion. Homeowners who leave their soil uncovered will find themselves buying more soil each year to replace lost soil.

Mulch will help keep your soil where it belongs. The rain will still fall, but your mulch will hold the soil in place.

5. Insect Repellent

Do you have annoying insects in your yard? Mulch can help with that, too. Some organic mulch types can deter these pests. Ticks, mosquitos, gnats, and fleas hate the smell of cedar or cypress.

Happy Mulching

There are so many benefits of mulch. It’s surprising that it isn’t used by every homeowner or gardener already. Once you start using mulch, you’ll never go back to open, uncovered beds again!

If you’re interested in adding some mulch to the beds on your property in the Indianapolis metro area or anywhere in Indiana, give us a call today. We can advise you on some great ideas for every situation. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Winter Mulching Your Garden: A Basic Guide

Most of the Midwest gets its first freeze around the first of October. For a freeze to happen, the air temperature has to drop below 32 degrees F.

Freezing temperatures mean it’s time to turn on the furnace, pull out your fall sweaters, and get out your Halloween decorations.

It’s also a critical time to handle winter mulching. Even though your plants are dying off, you still need to spend a little time in the garden.

Read on to learn how to handle mulching a garden for the winter and why it’s so important.

Why Is Winter Mulching Important?

Winter mulching refers to the practice of covering your flower beds with organic material. It keeps your plants insulated and hydrated during the winter.

After a hard frost, your plants will go into a dormant state. They’re still alive, but their visible leaves and flowers will die off.

Once the ground freezes, you’ll need to mulch the flower beds to keep the roots at a consistent temperature. If the weather warms up again, the plant will think it’s time to bloom and die off when it freezes again. Winter mulching keeps your plants in a dormant state until spring.

Types of Mulch to Use

Mulch can be any organic material, as long as it can insulate the ground.

Some of the most popular types of mulch are wood fiber and bark mulch. Not only will they insulate your flower beds, but they also look great.

You can also use pine needles, straw, leaves, or even boughs from your Christmas tree. In the spring, these materials will break down and add nutrients to the soil.

If you live in a snowy climate, snow also works as a natural mulch. It insulates the ground and provides moisture. So the next time it snows, don’t remove the snow from your flower beds.

How to Mulch a Garden for Winter

When your annual plants look brown and crumbled, you’ll know you’ve had a hard frost. Once that happens, it’s time to handle winter mulching.

First, remove any weeds from the base of your plants. If you have bushes or shrubs to trim or cut back, it’s easier to do it before you mulch.

For smaller plants, put a 2 to 4-inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant. If you have woody plants or small trees in your flower beds, leave some space between the mulch and the plant base. If it’s too close to the stems, it can lead to disease or rodent damage.

Winterize Your Garden Today

If you have an interest in gardening, you want your plants to return successfully in the spring. As an amateur gardener, there’s nothing more disheartening than watching your plants not bloom in the spring.

Luckily, winter mulching can protect your plants from harsh winters. If you do it right, you’ll get to see your favorite annuals return next year.

If you’re looking for high-quality mulch, we can help. At McCarty Mulch and Stone, we offer the quality landscaping supplies you need. Use our handy mulch calculator to find out how much you need and place your order with us.

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Tips for Winter Mulching in Cold Climate Gardens

Residing in a region exposed to freezing winter conditions demands you protect your outdoor plants from the damaging cold. Mulching gives your garden the insulation it needs from the continuous freezing and thawing cycle it faces in the colder months.

The roots of your plants stay warmer for longer when you undertake winter mulching in a cold climate. The ideal winter mulch is coarse in texture and facilitates adequate water and airflow, besides providing insulation.

Purpose and process

Winter mulching involves covering your garden beds with a generous layer of organic material. Since organic mulches consist of natural materials, they gradually decompose while improving the condition of your soil.

Mulching your garden for the winter serves the following purposes:

  • Extends the harvest season when it comes to hardy annual crops
  • Safeguards woody and herbaceous perennial plants from repeated thawing and freezing cycles
  • Equips fragile young plants to build their tolerance for cold
  • Protects bare soil from erosion and losing precious nutrients

Valuable tips for winter mulching in a cold climate

Time it right

You may be tempted to commence the process early, but it pays to wait. It is advisable to apply insulating material after the perennial plants become dormant and the soil begins to harden.

Once your garden receives its first dose of hard frost, you can achieve your goal of preventing the soil from warming. Annual crops, however, need to be mulched before the ground freezes. Extra layers of insulation around two feet thick prevent the soil from freezing.

Be generous

After removing all the weeds present around your plants, spread four inches or more of mulch around the base of each plant. When you undertake this exercise for small fruit trees or shrubs, preferably leave some space around the stems to prevent a rodent attack. Exceptionally cold and windy sites necessitate deeper mulching.

Cover your mulch

It is essential to cover the mulching material with a garden blanket or old sheet to keep winter storms from blowing it all away. You can secure such covering with sturdy logs or rocks.

Avoid plastic covers as this material tends to heat up on sunny days and may cause your plants to burn. Use tall stakes to mark your plant beds so you can trace them even under feet of snow.

Wisely select mulch material

Wood chips are ideal for perennials and woody plants as they break down and keep small rodents at bay. Straw adequately protects strawberries and annual crops like kale and carrots.

Chopped, whole or shredded leaves work for veggies and are a free source of winter mulching in a cold climate. Pine needles suit onion and garlic beds while sawdust saves perennials like small fruits and berries from icy conditions.

Remove mulch when you notice new growth

Once your winter mulch serves its purpose, it must be removed to allow your plants to grow actively. New growth sprouting is an indication to remove the excess mulch that smothers young shoots when left for too long.

Winter mulching allows your cold climate garden to withstand harsh weather and emerge refreshed once the chill settles. Source quality munch from a renowned supplier for your much-loved garden.

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When Should You Mulch?

When Should You Mulch?

Many struggle with knowing when the best time to begin your mulching is. The correct answer is whenever you are ready…

Spring is a great time to mulch.

A majority of our customers choose to mulch in the Spring because it allows for plants and trees to receive a majority of their moisture and gives you a good climate to plant and spread mulch in. The Spring is typically when most of your flowers are planted so it makes an opportune time to mulch as well. Not only does the Spring provide an optimal environment for you to work outside, but it also gives your yard a fresh look just in time for everyone to see. Now you are ready to entertain guests this Spring and Summer with a gorgeous looking garden.

Another good time to mulch is in the Fall.

The next best time that we would recommend would be the Fall season. Fall makes a good time to mulch to get your landscape ready for the cooler temperatures that come in the winter months. And the weather is typically favorable for enjoying spending time outside working in your landscape beds.

What about mulch in the Summer?

Summer is not necessarily a bad time to mulch, as mulching in the summer can keep plants and landscape cool during the hot weather months. It also retains any moisture that may be in the ground. 

 

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Bulk Mulch or Bagged Mulch: The Great Debate

Bulk mulch or bagged mulch? An argument as old as time itself. Numerous people are on both sides of the aisle, but which one is truly better? We’ll first take a look at the more popular of the two, bulk mulch.

Bulk Mulch

Bulk mulch has numerous benefits. The first being that it is often less expensive than the same amount of mulch purchased in bags. For instance, one cubic yard of mulch will equal around 13.5 bags of mulch.

As an example, one cubic yard of Premium Hardwood mulch costs $27.90.

13 bags of the same Premium Hardwood mulch will cost $50.85 ($3.85 each).

 

As you can see, bulk is much cheaper than that of its bagged counterpart. Bulk mulch is often also fresher than bagged mulch as it has recently been ground and either left to cure or dyed and then cured. Bagged mulch is often sold 3-6 months after it has been ground and bagged.

Bagged Mulch

Bagged mulch has a number of benefits too! The most common of these is the convenience of the bags. If you don’t have access to a pickup truck or don’t want a pile of mulch in your driveway, bagged mulch is likely the choice for you.

Bulk mulch is convenient. 

Bagged mulch can be placed in the back of your car and can be dragged around your yard without the need of a wheelbarrow and shovel. Additionally,  if you leave bagged mulch on your driveway, you don’t have to worry about leaving out a tarp or having to clean off your driveway after you’re finished.

Lastly, bagged mulch can be stored and used later. With bulk mulch, you often have to use it soon after it is delivered or soon after you pick it up. With bagged mulch, if you buy too much, you can simply store it in your garage or shed and use it to refresh the original coat next month.

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5 Reasons You Should Use Mulch Every Year

Yes, There are Reasons You Should Mulch…

If you’re unfamiliar with the whole mulching craze that happens every spring, here are five reasons you should mulch your yard, especially if you’ve never done it before.

Reason #1: Mulch is Healthy for Your Plants

Mulch is a great way to ensure that your plants and flowerbeds receive the nutrients they need to grow big and beautiful. Not only does mulch provide nutrients, but it also helps to keep the nutrients that already exist in the soil. Mulch is a great insulator for your soil because it keeps the moisture and nutrients in and blocks the beating hot sun from oversaturating your soil and pulling the essential nutrients up and out of the ground.

Reason #2 Mulch Improves the Overall Look of Your Landscape

Spreading mulch in your landscape beds can drastically change the look of your home for the better. Choosing a mulch that adds to the aesthetic of your home can do wonders. Regardless of what color or type that you choose, laying down fresh mulch gives your home a very clean look. Dark mulches can help to bring out the color of your house and plants, while a light mulch gives the landscape a sharp, natural look.

Reason #3: Mulch is Good for Your Soil

The health of your soil is important. Mulch prevents the loss of water from evaporation, keeping the nutrients in. Once the mulch begins to break down, the nutrients of the mulch are slowly added into the soil, creating a better environment for your plants to grow in. Lastly, mulch can keep the soil cooler in the heat and warmer in the winter. This leads to more balanced soil temperature, in turn making the soil more fertile. 

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Reason #4: Mulch is Good for the Environment

Mulch is not only good for your soil and plants; it is also good for the environment. Much of the mulch sold at McCarty Mulch and Stone is recycled material brought in by you, the customer! Recycling wood and yard debris leads to a better environment because it keeps the bugs and chemicals associated with rotting wood and yard waste, out of the yard. Burning large amounts of wood and trash can lead to pollution while bringing it to McCarty Mulch and Stone for recycling allows everyone to benefit. You benefit by getting rid of your old yard waste and the world benefits because you’re keeping harmful pollutants out of the air!

Reason #5: Mulching Once and Weed Less

Mulching your landscape beds once a year or even once every two years can allow your plants to flourish. Mulch helps to deter and control weeds. Mulch acts as a barrier, which can limit the amount of sun that weeds are receiving. It also smothers weeds that had already grown and keeps many from freely growing above ground. Mulch can also lead to less erosion, particularly of your soil. Eroding soil can prove to be a bad time for your plants. Mulch allows for a barrier whenever water comes, protecting your soil from washing out. 

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Which Playground Mulch is Right for You?

Curious about which playground mulch to use in your backyard? At McCarty Mulch, we have plenty of choices for your children’s playground.

Playfun Playground Mulch

The most popular of these, and also the safest, is our Playfun mulch. Playfun is made of small wood chips processed down to a uniform chip size of 1 inch or less. The mulch is light, soft, and springy. Playfun is in compliance with ASTM specifications as well.

These qualities make it perfect for your children’s playground and are why many elementary and middle schools use it for their playgrounds. The mulch, unlike rubber tire mulch, is great for absorption. So not only is it great for playgrounds but it’s also useful in kennels and walking paths.

However, this ideal playground mulch decomposes and requires more maintenance than that of its rubber counterpart. Playfun mulch comes in one color, a light, natural brown color.

Rubber Mulch

Rubber tire mulch is also a good choice for your playground because of its light, bouncy makeup and low level of required maintenance. Once rubber tire mulch is laid, it often only requires maintenance every few years, if that! Because the mulch is made of 100% recycled car and truck tires it never breaks down or decomposes.

The only maintenance required is when your children have kicked and played in it so much that some of it escapes the confines of your playground area. In this case, some spots will need touching up in order to cover the ground. The rubber mulch is also visually appealing and comes in black, brown, and uncolored.

Overall, both mulches will be great for your children’s backyard playground. If you are willing to spend more the first time and have little to no maintenance in the future, then rubber tire mulch is for you. If you are looking to pay less, love the look of a new coat of mulch, and don’t mind having to add Playfun into your playground every few years, then Playfun is likely the mulch for you.

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Mulch in Flowerbeds: What You Need to Know

Are you using mulch in your flower bed for the first time or do you simply want to learn how to do it properly? Look no further!

Planning for Mulch

Mulching your flower beds and around your yard seems easy enough, but there are some things that you want to avoid. First and foremost, remove some of the excess mulch or soil that is in and around your flower beds. This will give your mulch bed a better look and allows the mulch to give the flowers and plants located inside the bed an adequate amount of nutrients.

Secondly, take a look at the background and the design of your yard and flower beds. Too many shrubs or plants, or too much mulch in one space can make it look out of place. Make sure that you have plants and shrubs planted where there may normally be a large expanse of mulch located.

Pick a Type and Color

Next comes the color of the mulch. Choose a mulch that compliments the outside of your home. Often times, a darker mulch will look best against a lighter colored home and will contrast the bright flowers in your flower bed well.

At McCarty Mulch, we can provide you with the best mulch for your home. For traditional, non-colored mulches, McCarty Mulch offers many, including Cedar, Cypress, and Premium Hardwood varieties. These mulches have a softer, more natural look that will look fantastic around your flowers and trees.

We also have a wide array of colored mulches. Take your pick! We carry Brown dyed, Black dyed, Red dyed, and Gold dyed mulches. These mulches will have a darker look that allows the colors in your flowers and of the exterior of your house to really pop. Colored mulches offer more aesthetic appeal and can also be at the higher end of a budget. They also require a little more TLC and a little time to cure before watering or getting rained on.

If you’re looking for a mulch that you plan on laying in an area of high traffic, a less expensive mulch such as our Economy mulch may be better. This mulch offers less nutritional value but is chunkier and will break down more slowly than some of the finer mulches that McCarty Mulch carries.

How Much Mulch?

After choosing the type of mulch that you are going to spread, make sure that you know how much you’re going to need. If you need help with the math, just use our handy mulch calculator! Here you can simply type in the dimensions of your yard or flower bed and know the exact amount of mulch you are going to need. 2-3 inches is the normal thickness of mulch around your flower beds. Spreading at this depth will help to conserve moisture and defend against weeds.

Many people choose to spread their mulch in the later part of spring. This gives you a perfect climate to do all of your work in and allows your flowers to get the best amount of nutrients and moisture needed.

Applying Mulch

Lastly comes the spreading! When spreading mulch make sure that you have enough in some areas and not too much in others. When you stand back and take a look at your flower beds after spreading, it is important that the mulch is equal in depth. This will look nicer and help retain the moisture your plants need to stay healthy.

When spreading mulch around trees, place it around the base of the trunk. This reduces the threat of weeds and other plants and gives your trees a more aesthetically pleasing look. As you are spreading the mulch, thin it out as you get closer to a sidewalk or the end of the flower bed, this way there will be less chance of runoff. Not only this but when there are fewer things planted in that certain spot, thinning the mulch out allows you to conserve it and use it in other spots.

Admire Your Work

Now take a step back and admire the work that you have done! Take a look and make sure that the mulch looks equal in depth around your flowers and throughout your beds. Add extra mulch to thinner spots and take mulch away from the deeper places. Now you have a beautiful yard and your plants are getting the nutrients they need to thrive!