Mulching Tips

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This article provides tips and suggestions for how to make your own landscape or garden mulch
by Wanda Haby · All Zones · Tools and Equipment · 1 Comments · March 30, 2012 · 6,941 views

The ideal mulch is:

  • Economical.
  • Readily available.
  • Easy to apply and remove.
  • Stays in place. Chipped or shredded wood mulch has a tendency to stay in place.
  • Supplies organic matter to the soil. Over time, wood mulch breaks down into rich organic matter that plants can use!
  • Suppresses weeds.
  • Conserves soil moisture.
  • Moderates soil temperature.

Does a mulch exist that accomplishes everything in the list above? Yes! Chipped or shredded wood mulch...and the benefits are endless:

  • You can't get any more economical than making your own wood mulch.
  • If you have large trees nearby you'll have a readily available, endless supply of wood mulch material.
  • Wood mulch lightweight and relatively easy to apply or remove.
  • Chipped or shredded mulch stays in place relatively well.
  • Over time, wood mulch breaks down and supplies rich organic matter to the soil that plants can use.
  • When applied at a thickness of 1 to 2 inches wood mulch suppresses weeds, conserves soil moisture, and moderates soil temperature.

Other helpful tips and precautions:

  • Avoid applying mulch any thicker than a 2-inch depth. Mulch applied too thick can prohibit water from getting to the roots of plants and cause other problems.
  • To avoid disease or rotting, avoid placing mulch up against the trunks of trees or other plants. Leave a 2- to 4-inch ring free of mulch around the base of plants.
  • Avoid the use of plastic sheeting underneath mulch in planted areas. Plastic can heat the soil in the summer, possibly to levels that are lethal to plants. Although black plastic effectively prevents the evaporation of water from the soil, it also blocks the entrance of water and nutrients into the soil. Instead, if a weed barrier is desired, always use a fibrous, porous, landscape fabric that allows water, fertilizer, and heat to pass through.
  • Synthetic mulches do not contribute beneficial organic matter to the soil. Some synthetic mulches actually contain toxic substances which can be harmful to the environment and to humans, pets or wildlife. Do your research before using any type of synthetic mulch!

Thulani

Thulani · Gardenality Seedling · Zone 9A · 20° to 25° F
I started doing this with my pot plants, instead of throwing away the 'dead' leaves/stems I just throw them in the pot plant. Didn't know you could do that with your entire garden. Nice!

7 years ago ·
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