Mulching is the process in which the soil is conditioned to make it healthier for growing plants. It protects your soil by holding in moisture and make it spring-ready. Mulching makes your plants grow healthy and beautiful, provides a barrier to soil pathogens, looks attractive, controls weeds and reduces expenses. There are so many reasons to mulch your garden and add aesthetic appeal but not everyone is aware of how to go about it. Below are a few tips to get you started:
Lay the Groundwork
Before you get down to it, clean up the landscaping area to prepare the bed and trim the trees. Remove weeds, rake the area to level it out and create a border between the bed and the surrounding area for a neat finish. The groundwork is like an easel to help you visualize the details and make maintenance easier.
Pick the Mulch Colour
Landscape mulch is available in several colours to brighten up your yard. Some like mulch colours that blend with the plants. Others like contrast to accentuate and highlight the outdoor space. There are three basic shades to choose from: red, brown and black.
- Red: White, purple and yellow flowers look beautiful on red mulch.
- Black: Green foliage looks striking on black mulch.
- Brown: Brown mulch is best for red brick homes or those with a white exterior.
Different Types of Mulch
- Shredded bark for slopes: Made from cedar and pine wood, shredded bark mulch has medium consistency, decomposes easily into the soil and holds water on gardens on a slope.
- Bark nuggets for flat gardens: On flat land where the water is less likely to roll away, chunky bark nuggets are best. They don’t disintegrate easily or you don’t need to reapply frequently making it a cost-effective option.
- Grass clippings: Grass clippings or mulch made from shredded leaves are easy to produce and freely available from freshly mowed lawns. Just stay away from grass treated with chemicals for best results.
- Landscape rocks or marble chips: River rocks, pea pebbles and marble chips look as beautiful as the shrubs that sit on them. They don’t break down, need only occasional re-application and look striking in arid areas. However, chipped stones do not have any nutritional value to enrich the soil and may be difficult to remove if you’re looking for a change.
- Pine Straw: Pine straw needles are perfect for slopes. They are slow to disintegrate, hold moisture well and look beautiful. Use them on conifers, blueberries and rhododendrons.
- Rubber mulch: Rubber mulch is child-friendly. If you have children in the house, they are a safer option than stone chips or sharp-edged bark nuggets. Rubber does not decompose easily so the garden is easy-to-maintain and a sustainable alternative.
Right Quality and Quantity
Your garden needs a two to three-inch layer of mulch. Make sure you apply a weed preventer, landscape fabric and garden soil below the mulch. Also make sure that the mulch is of high quality for a well-nourished, healthy garden. Too much mulch can invite pests to sneak in and hide. Too little will not provide the best results. Never pile mulch up against the tree trunk or plant stems.
Spicer Landscaping – Ontario
Take a look at what Spicer Landscaping can do for your lawn care. We are a family owned business serving Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Hamilton, available for industrial and commercial purposes. We are certified to look into every area of landscaping from laying sod to clearing walkways, planting, mulching, tree removal and full property clean up. Give us a call to prepare your garden for mulching this spring.