The Why and How of Mulching

The magical art of mulching has a wide range of benefits; it regulates soil temperature, provides slow-release nutrition, discourages weed growth, provides a home for plant-friendly insects, improves soil drainage, and much, much more. So which part of your yard can benefit from the springtime practice? Practically everywhere.

But before you go hog wild spreading dry hay and decomposed leaves across your lawn, just remember that the material you choose and the way you apply it makes all the difference. Every corner of your yard has its unique problems and soil needs. Read up before you create your mulch plan, and give your lawn the best chance possible at greatness! You’ll end up saving yourself a lot of time and energy that you might have otherwise spent needlessly digging at or watering your soil (we told you, mulch is magical!).

Around Trees and Bushes

The trick with mulching your foundational trees and bushes is deciding how manicured you’d like it to look long-term. Use bark to preserve soil moisture and to give your landscaping an earthy feel. The nice thing about bark is that it will decompose slowly and won’t need to be replaced very often which, in the case of a rooted tree, will do the trick just fine. Stones or gravel make for a beautiful choice aesthetically, but they won’t give anything back to your soil. Landscape fabric is also a fantastic and widely-used option for your trees and shrubs. It can be purchased at your local home improvement store and installed very easily.

In Your Garden

Gardens benefit greatly from mulching, perhaps more than any other type of growth. Straw keeps mud-borne diseases from affecting your plant leaves, and using organic compost is practically a necessity to grow a successful, bountiful vegetable garden. If you don’t mind the look, shredded leaves are also a great option to add more nutrients to the soil and encourage earthworms. You can even use newspaper clippings to help suppress weeds (most newspapers have switched to organic ink these days). They will break down slowly and should last you the whole growing season.

Along Weed-Prone Lawn Edges

Especially in those problem areas at the corners and along stretches of concrete, a covering of mulch will do wonders for weeds. Ironically, regular old grass clippings are one of the best mulches for your lawn– so don’t worry about tidying your lawn up too much after you mow! Because of their high water content, however, you don’t want to overdo it otherwise the clippings will decompose and put off an unpleasant odor.

Whatever your game plan might be, it’s important to get moving on it before the heat of summer sets in. You must also remember that too much mulch can cause more problems than it will fix (such as bad bacteria growth and decaying roots). If in doubt, Lawnkeeper can help you mulch your yard this spring. However you choose to go about it, remember that a careful, well-planned mulch will make your yard even more healthy and vibrant than you thought possible. So get planning, and then get out there and mulch!

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