Many organic and non-organic gardeners and landscape companies are turning to mulch. They use bark, grass clippings, straw, gravel, stone, plastic, and landscape fabric as mulch, depending upon whether they are organic or non-organically inclined. Yet, no matter what type of landscape company or gardener they are, they turn to mulch to satisfy a number of reasons. They are relying on it to provide them with a variety of benefits that are less work-intensive than other methods to achieve.
Using Mulch in Garden Beds
Mulch is multi-purpose. It is applied in vegetable gardens and in garden beds. In the latter, the decision to use it is based on one or more of the following factors:
· Time: If you want to save time, you do not have or would rather spend doing something else, lay down a layer of mulch. It decreases the period – whether hours or days, you would spend weeding your garden bed because mulching prevents the growth of weeds. It also lowers the level of watering, saving even more time and resources spent on maintaining a garden.
· Money: If you hire a landscape company or gardening service, you can reduce the cost for weeding by hiring one that uses mulch. Mulching reduces the time spent weeding and, therefore, can decrease the overall cost for landscaping. Check on a third-party service such as edenapp to find a landscaping or gardening service that uses mulch.
· Energy: Weeding, even with the latest gadgets, takes time and energy. In fact, it can suck the life right out of you if your garden bed is particularly prolific with weeds. Mulching reduces the need to weed.
· Aesthetics: If you want to improve the overall look of simple garden beds, add a layer of mulch. They are available in different basic colors to add a sense of verve and tidiness.
You may also see the need to apply a layer or two of mulch if you want to:
1. Improve the soil’s fertility. Note, this applies to organic mulches that decompose over time, adding nutrients into the soil. The process of release of such beneficial materials may be slow or faster. It depends upon the type of organic mulch you or your landscape company uses. For example, thicker wood or bark mulch deteriorates at a slower rate than its thinner counterpart.
2. Keep the soil cool
3. Discourage certain insects – cedar bark is recommended for this, but further research into other organic mulches is providing other possibilities including using cypress of the soil
4. Encourage earthworms and other beneficial micro-organisms to make their home in your garden bed
Do keep in mind that if you use mulch, it does have to be topped up. If you apply organic mulch, it requires periodic replacement in order to retain the benefits.
Mulching Your Garden Beds
Mulching is a practice generally followed as a preventive and protective measure. It prevents water from escaping while protecting plants from the harsh effects of the sun and winter cold, as well as the overwhelming advance of weeds. Organic mulch can also intensify the fertility of the soil, while, at the same time, produces a tidy appearance that increases the aesthetic aspect of the plantings in the garden bed.