Mulching is the process of covering the soil with organic or inorganic materials to improve its quality. It's a gardening technique that is timeless and ultimately beneficial to plants when done correctly. The benefits associated with mulching can save you a lot of hours in landscape maintenance.
Some mulch materials are eco-friendly, and an excellent avenue to recycle garden waste instead of polluting the air by setting them ablaze. Besides being eco-friendly and beneficial to the soil, mulching also adds an exquisite touch to the overall beauty of your landscape, which is a benefit that's worth the effort.
If you take a good look at bare soil in construction sites, railroad, and untouched lands, you'll notice that it's either dry or full of weeds. The weed is nature's way of preserving the land's moisture, nutrients, and ability to sustain plant life. Therefore, if you do not cover the ground with mulch, the earth will help you do that with weeds. Fortunately, you can quickly fix your weed problems with the help of a professional landscaping company.
• A drastic reduction in the growth of weeds since the mulch is not an ideal environment for them to develop.
• Prevents the evaporation of water from the soil, therefore, retaining its moisture for the consumption of your garden plants.
• The mulch covering the ground acts as a shield against the blazing sun, thus regulating the temperature of the soil.
• It creates a conducive environment for earthworms, which leave nutritious waste behind.
• Applying organic mulch on your landscape improves the nutrients in your soil. This improvement happens after the organic material breaks down due to bacterial action, thus becoming fertilizer.
The best way to identify the types of mulches would be to categorize them into two groups; inorganic and organic.
These are mulches that do not decay into nutritious materials for plants despite how long they remain on the soil. The most popular inorganic mulch purchased by garden owners include:
• Rubber Mulch
Rubber mulch is consists of either a waste tire or ground synthetic rubber. It's is an excellent option for insulating the soil from heat. It's also beneficial to the soil moisture since it prevents the water from evaporating through its porous surface.
• Plastic Mulch
Although this type of mulch is predominant in commercial farming, It's still a valuable soil preserver worth mentioning. Every year, millions of farmers worldwide move problematic plastic from the environment and use them as mulch in farms.
• Stones or Gravel
Stones and gravel are also used as mulch in places with a colder climate. The gravel's ability to retain heat often helps to extend the growing season.
Keep in mind that using stones and gravel might also be detrimental if you live in an environment with intense heat. The rocks will raise the temperature of the soil by amplifying the heat they receive.
Unlike inorganic mulches, organic mulches are temporary because they decay over time. This factor, therefore, affects the type of organic mulch to purchase since most of them react differently to moisture from rain, sprinklers, or dew. The most common organic mulches include:
Leaves from trees that tend to drop in autumn or fall are a good source of organic mulch. While they decompose, their surfaces stick together, creating a protective cover that also permits water to seep down into the soil. Keep in mind that the thick layers of a massive heap of leaves can form a soggy mat during spring or winter, which might impede the growth of plants such as lawn grass. Also, instead of spending a few dollars to acquire stones and gravel to warm your soil during the winter, you can apply dry leaves to protect the plants from freezing.
• Bark Chips
Bark chips of different qualities come from the outer layer of timber trees and often serve as mulches in gardens. They come in various sizes ranging from large coarse blocks to thin shredded strands. Although the finer barks look attractive, they have a large exposed surface area that hastens the decay of the Mulch. This factor requires that gardeners lay the barks in layers that are two or three inches deep.
Pro Tip: Bark Chips are available in different colors, and unlike most biodegradable substances, they do not demand soil nitrate to decay.
Carpets made of natural fiber are an excellent choice for halting weed growth due to their tightly packed surface. They absorb rain quickly and slowly release it into the soil to reduce the need to water.
Even though the primary purpose of mulching is to improve the quality of your soil, there's no doubt that they can make a beautiful addition to your landscape. If you wish to add mulches to your garden but do not know how to begin the process, you can ask a professional landscaping company for help. We at Eden are always ready to help you make the best decision regarding landscaping and the best mulch for your garden. Reach out to us today and get professional advice from our experts who offer the best services irrespective of the season.