Why, When And How To Use Mulch

By Dvortygirl (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

While gardening and lawn care are year-round activities, the beginning of spring does bring special considerations. The early spring months can set the tone for the rest of the warm season to come. Prepping your soil and making sure that you give your plants, trees and shrubs a good start can make all the difference.

Why Should You Mulch?

Now is the time to spread some good-quality mulch around your plants to help your garden grow healthy and strong. Mulch is a simple and inexpensive way to keep your garden healthy. Weed control and soil quality are two good reasons to lay down mulch before the weather warms up.

Mulch can also help improve your soil. Depending on your needs, you can choose organic or non-organic materials for your mulch. If you want to improve your soil quality, you may want to choose one of the following:

  • Straw
  • Pine needles
  • Compost
  • Chopped leaves
  • Coconut hulls

While these types of mulch may not look as nice as chipped bark, glass or rock, they will break down over time and deliver nutrients to your soil.

When Should You Mulch?

Before weeds become a problem, spread mulch to keep them from taking over. In addition to keeping the weeds at bay, mulch will help your soil retain moisture during the hot months.

It is important when laying down mulch that you keep it away from the base of your plants and shrubs. If the mulch is up against the plants, it will cause them to rot.

This season, give yourself a break by spreading weed-preventing mulch throughout your flower beds, and help improve your soil by choosing a mulch that will break down and slowly fertilize your soil.

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