Mulching is the practice of placing a loose surface on the soil surface of your flower or vegetable garden to protect, isolate and beautify the area. This loose garment is called a mulch and it can be of an organic or inorganic variety. Examples of mulches include clippings of compost, rock and grass. Every gardener must understand the many benefits of sticking the soil in their garden. This article will discuss the benefits of mulching, how to choose the right mulch and quickly look at some of the different types of organic and inorganic mulches.

The benefits of mulching

Let's explore some benefits of mulching:

Prevents soil erosion - Soil erosion occurs when wind or water slowly wears off the soil surface and removes it. Mulching your soil will prevent this as there is now a protective, interchangeable layer. It comes between the earth's surface and the forces of nature above it.

Insulates the soil in winter - The harsh temperatures in winter can be unfriendly. Ground mulching in winter will insulate the soil and prevent it from recurring from freezing and thawing and isolating plant roots. It prevents the soil from being tilted (broken up) in the spring. Mulch Collegeville, pa should be applied to the soil when frozen and removed in the spring when no further frost is in danger. Winter-mulched soil thaws faster in the spring.

Cooling the soil in summer - A layer of mulch in the summer protects the soil below from extreme heat in the summer and reduces the need for constant watering, ie. water retention is improved.

Helps against soil compaction - the layer of mulch acts as a buffer or extra layer between units that can cause soil compaction below e.g. people, equipment, heavy rain.

Enhances the look - A mulch applied to your bed can make it look more complete and attractive. This varies from mulch to mulch as some are more attractive and natural looking than others.

Prevents Weed Growth - One of the more useful benefits of mulching is in weed prevention. While mulch itself does not prevent weeds from germinating, it serves as a barrier between the weeds and the outside world above. When a weed reaches the mulch layer, it will not be able to break it, and it will eventually die back. Some moths perform this function to prevent weeds better than others. Depth of mulch is also a contributing factor. However, be careful when choosing mulches as some mulches like grass clippings and straw can actually contain weed seeds.

Keeps fruits and vegetables clean - A layer of mulch reduces the chances of fruits and vegetables getting dirty from sprinkling the soil below.

Choosing the right mulch for your garden

Careful thought needs to be taken when choosing a mulch to apply to your garden, as each one is different and must fit your exact requirements. Here are some common factors to consider:

Soil pH Suitability - Some mulches such as bark milk and pine grain soil can affect the soil's pH, so they are best used on soils containing acid-loving plants.

Spring Removal - Certain mullets need to be removed in the spring because they can stifle new plants. Examples include stone milk and bark chips.

Cost - Are costs a limiting factor in your choice of mulches? If so, you can find your mulch for free if you choose certain types. If you store a compost pile, you have compost for disposal. Other free mulches (if you have the springs) are pine needles and grass clippings.

Appearance - Are you interested in what the bed will look like when the bark is applied? Each mulch adds a different look, and depending on the design of your garden you can choose a mulch that matches it in color and texture.

Water and Air Penetration - Some moths are better at passing water and air than others. This can be important depending on the watering requirements of a plant.

Addition of nutrients to the soil - Organic mulches add nutrients back into the soil as they decompose. The nutrients and their amounts added back into the soil depend on mulch and it varies quite a bit. Using compost as a mulch guarantees plenty of nutrients for your plants.

Some types of organic mulch

This type of mulch, once a living material, and as such, degrades over time. During their breakdown, vital nutrients are added back into your soil. However, it may be a good idea to avoid using organic mulches if you have rodent problems. Some common organic mulches are:

Compost - Disposal and feeding of the soil when it is decomposed. This mulch is free if

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Prevents soil erosion - Soil erosion occurs when wind or water slowly wears off the soil surface and removes it.