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Mulch 101

 

Mulch 101

What is mulch?

Mulch is any material, either organic or inorganic, that is applied over soil for protection. Organic mulches include leaves, wood, compost, bark clippings, or grass clippings. Inorganic mulch includes materials such as rock and gravel.

Mulch Pic

Why should I mulch?

Mulch offers numerous soil benefits. Here are a few:

  • Introduces fresh nutrients into the soil.
  • Discourages weeds from growing.
  • Serves as a protective layer against freeze damage.
  • Minimizes soil evaporation.
  • Prevents soil compaction in the future.
  • Regulates soil temperature and protects plants during weather fluctuations.

Finally, one last benefit is that mulch looks nice! The right layers and placement of mulch can contribute to the aesthetics of your yard.

How do I make my own mulch?

You can start in the fall by saving your grass clippings and piles of raked leaves from your yard. Use a wood shredder/chipper to create wood chip mulch to add to the leaves. Let the organic matter sit over the winter and then you’ll have a nice, carbon-rich layer to add to your garden in the spring.

How much mulch do I need?

In general, a layer of mulch should only be about 2-4 inches thick. Any deeper and the mulch can inadvertently turn into a home for pesky rodents. Also, although mulch can be placed around the base of your trees, the mulch must be kept away from the actual trunk of your trees. The tree trunk bark needs air exposure in order to breathe properly and covering it in mulch could lead to suffocation. We recommend keeping a distance of 6-12 inches between the mulch at the base of your tree and the actual tree trunk itself.

Refreshing your Mulch:

Mulch should generally be refreshed once or twice a year. Gently fluff up your current mulch and then add a fresh layer on top. Again, the mulch should only be about 2-3” deep.

To get the most out of your mulching endeavors, give us a call at Detailed Landscape. We can help you get some much-needed mulch into your soil.