What do you think of when someone mentions mulch? Maybe you think of it as a way to increase the nutrients around the trees. Perhaps you view it as a way to protect the tree from harsh conditions like excess heat or biting cold. Or you may consider it from an aesthetic perspective. You’d be correct in whichever one of these views.
You may not consider the trouble worth it if you don’t understand why mulching is important. Here are some compelling reasons for it:
Some reasons why gardeners mulch include:
Keeping Soil Moist: The number one purpose of mulch is to keep the soil around your plants damp and moist at all times. It shields the soil from direct sunlight while insulating the ground at the same time to prevent evaporation.
Driving Away Pests: Organic mulch ingredients attract all kinds of pests because of their high nutrient density. You can use all-natural pesticides, but unless you resolve the root cause of the issue, these pests will just keep coming back. What you can do instead is to mix in some cypress and cedarwood. Read more at Homesteading…
Mulching will significantly cut down the time it would otherwise take you to water, weed, and fight pests. It also helps to regulate soil temperature and prevent soil erosion. It also boosts your curb appeal by leaving an attractive finishing touch around your trees.
It’s also important to use the right type of mulch for your trees. Certain types of mulch perform better at catering to certain needs of particular trees. After all, you want to get the most benefit from the mulch you choose:
There are two basic kinds of mulch: organic and inorganic. Organic mulches include formerly living material such as chopped leaves, straw, grass clippings, compost, wood chips, shredded bark, sawdust, pine needles, and even paper. Inorganic mulches include black plastic and geotextiles (landscape fabrics).
Both types of mulch discourage weeds, but organic mulches also improve the soil as they decompose. Inorganic mulches don't break down and enrich the soil, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're not a smart option for your garden. Read more at Good Housekeeping…
Knowing the primary reasons why you’re mulching your trees will help you choose the right type of mulch. However, organic types of mulch are more likely to provide multiple benefits compared to inorganic options.
Finally, it’s important to use the most effective methods of mulching. Bear in mind that improper mulching could in fact prove harmful to your trees. In many cases, it’s actually better not to mulch at all than to mulch improperly.
DON’T volcano mulch around trees.
Volcano mulching—when woodchip mulch is piled high, tight, and thick around tree trunks so that it resembles the shape of a volcano—is a common but unfortunately destructive practice that prevents water and oxygen from reaching the roots. What’s more, as hardwood mulch begins to breakdown and decompose, the temperature in the mulch rises, subjecting the tree trunk to damaging temperatures. The result is a tree that may become unable to transport water and nutrients. When landscaping around trees, two to three inches of woodchip mulch—not touching the tree trunk and distributed out to the drip line (the area directly below the outer circumference of branches)—is enough to keep roots cool and conserve moisture. Read more at Bob Vila…
Learning the dos and don’ts of mulching is essential to ensure that you give your trees the best possible care. In addition, ensure you apply the right amount of mulch – too much could prove harmful.
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