Tips & Advice
What is double-shredded mulch?
Double-shredded mulch is a finer version of standard mulch, making it quicker to decompose and nourish your garden or plants. There is even triple shredded mulch, for you hardcore mulchers. The need for this depends on your particular type of garden and the speed of decomposition you require.
What are the benefits of using mulch?
The primary benefit of adding mulch is the nutrients it creates for your soil as it breaks down. It also provides a layer of protection and keeps the soil moist, while preventing weed growth. Mulch is also good at preventing soil erosion, aids in pest control, and can add a fresh, clean look to your garden.
Can compost be used as mulch?
Compost is the nutrient-rich content of materials that have broken down to create food for your soil and plants--it is what mulch aspires to be. Compost can be used as mulch, but mulch is technically made of organic materials that have not yet broken down and can be used to protect the actual compost from weed growth.
Should old mulch be removed?
It is generally not necessary to remove old mulch when adding new mulch. Mulch is intended to break down to its organic level to add nutrients to the soil. Removing it simply stops that process and is counterproductive. One thing to be aware of is having too much mulch, which can be damaging if it is smothering plants. Don’t remove old mulch unless there is too much or some kind of contamination.
When is the best time to lay mulch?
The best time to lay mulch is when the weather and ground is warmer, making the soil more amenable to nutrient absorption. Spring is the ideal time as the ground is warming and plants are entering a more rapid growing phase. This can accelerate the decomposition process, speeding up soil enrichment.
Mulch can vary in composition, but generally it is made from organic materials, such as grass or yard clippings, bark, leaves, and compost. They are gathered, collected, and spread around the area you want to mulch for aesthetics or soil enrichment purposes.
How often should mulch be changed?
It is not necessary to change your mulch, just maintain it. Check your mulch depth a couple of times a year; spring and fall being the ideal times. Using the same type of mulch (so as not to give it an off color or patchy appearance), add enough to keep it at 2 to 3 inches deep, or top it off for aesthetic purposes. Changing it all out defeats the purpose of it, which is to decompose into soil-enriching compost.
What is the best way to make a mulch bed?
The first step to create a quality mulch bed is to create an edge on your lawn. Remove the excess turf. Using a hoe, spade or edge, define the edge. After you have created the edge, hone or trim it into a well-defined shape. Then add the mulch, 2-3 inches deep, into a nice little slope, downward side toward the lawn.
What is the best type of mulch?
The best type of mulch depends on where you are using it. For standard gardening, biodegradable mulches, such as compost and lawn clippings, are preferred as they will decompose into organic matter that will enrich your soil. Sawdust and wood chips can be ideal for orchards or vegetable garden paths as they are more durable. Know what you need from your mulch before selecting.
What are the most commons types of mulch?
The most common type of mulch is wood chips and/or bark, but there are many other types to choose from. Grass clippings, compost, chopped leaves, and pine straw are among the most common. Keep in mind that larger chunks of mulch will decompose slower, and that different color varieties, for aesthetic purposes, are factors to consider when buying mulch.