Written by Gene Caballero on May 06, 2015
How does mulch work?
Learn how mulch works and let it save you time and money...
There doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. Your time is precious! Whether maintaining landscape is a passion or a chore, the last thing you want to do is see your hard work go to waste. If you don't use mulch to finish the job properly, you'll have to work doubly hard and possibly lose your plants altogether.
What is Mulch, Anyway?
Mulch varies in composition but is most commonly made from organic material such as leaves, wood chips, grass clippings, peat moss, pine straw, or bark chips. It can also be made from compost or manure. It is typically spread around the base of plants, trees or throughout flowerbeds.
Understanding How Mulch Works in 3 Easy Steps
1. Mulch Prevents Erosion
Unmulched soil is vulnerable to the elements. Wind, rain, and even sprinkler splatter can cause unprotected soil to erode. Erosion causes a multitude of problems for your plants. Those problems have knock-on effects that can definitely kill the plant or tree in question.
Erosion depletes vital nutrients from the soil. Plants need a healthy diet in order to survive. Erosion saps the soil of important nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen, which must remain on the menu for your plant to thrive.
Mulched not only deters erosion, it provides much-needed nutrients for the soil as it breaks down, aided by the daily business of worms and other organisms. No matter what climate youre in, your plants will need mulch the same as say Tampa Florida, or a landscape in Atlanta Georgia, both ares of the country will need mulch protection for their plants.
2. Mulch Slows Evaporation
Nutrients are important but so is water. Unmulched soil is left to bake in the sun which drastically increases the rate of evaporation. Malnourished plants, potentially suffering from exposed roots, will wilt from moisture stress.
Mulch provides an excellent barrier to prevent the sun from reaching the soil thus minimizing evaporation.
3. Mulch Prevents Weed Growth
When weed seeds are exposed to the sun, they germinate. When they are buried beneath a layer of mulch, they do not germinate. It's almost too good to be true. If you have spent long hours weeding your flowerbed, you really must do yourself the favor of properly mulching before you call the job finished. The weeds will be back before you know it, and you'll have the job to do all over again.
A Final Word From Your Yard: I Want To Be Beautiful
Hey, your yard has a right to be beautiful too! Mulch can accomplish that. No doubt a well-mulched landscape is lovely thing to behold. It will always have that little something extra, a finished look which says you took the time to do the job right. In fact, properly mulching your flowerbeds will always say: I care.
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