Planting in mulch provides a number of important advantages for any yard, garden or landscaping project. Mulch helps soil retain moisture, which results in a much healthier plant stock. Other important benefits of mulch include reducing weed growth, providing much-needed nutrients to soil, preventing soil compaction and even making plants less susceptible to damage from mowers and other lawn equipment.
What Is the Best Kind of Mulch for Landscaping Purposes?
Take a quick look around your home and property you’re likely to find numerous materials that can make excellent mulch. You can also purchase mulch at your local home improvement store or garden centers. Examples of common mulching materials include:
- Decaying leaves: Aid soil moisture retention and inhibit weed growth
- Wood chips: Offer an attractive appearance to landscaping and decay slowly
- Straw and hay: Are extremely inexpensive and easy to apply
- Peat moss: Provides an attractive appearance and offers excellent soil amending properties
- Compost: Provides additional soil nutrients as it breaks down
- Stone materials: Gravel, pebbles and stone offer a natural appearance and do not require frequent replenishment
- Rubber: Is long-lasting and available in a variety of colors but difficult to dispose of and adds no nutrients
- Landscape fabric: Promotes soil moisture retention and warmth and serves as a weed deterrent
- Newspaper: Can help to prevent weed growth
- Grass clippings: Are easy to apply between plants in a garden or as a layer on your lawn
How to Mulch Around Trees
Mulching around trees and shrubs is a good practice during initial planting and during the fall season to protect the root system from the cold during winter. Follow these guidelines when you apply mulch around trees:
- Remove all grass within three to 10 feet of the base of the tree, depending on the tree’s size
- Apply wood chips or other natural mulch material around the base in a donut-shaped pattern at a thickness of two to four inches within the circle
- Create an edge around the perimeter to prevent the mulch from spilling onto the lawn
- Ensure the mulch bed is watered appropriately
Avoid the following when applying and maintaining mulch around trees:
- Do not apply mulch at a thickness greater than four inches, as this will prevent oxygen from reaching the plant roots
- Ensure the mulch does not come in contact with the tree trunk
- Avoid the use of wood chips obtained from your local municipality, as these could transmit a viral infection that damages the tree or promote the growth of unwanted saplings
Mulching Around Plants
If you are applying mulch around plants in a garden or flowerbed, be sure to remove any perennial weeds prior to application. Thin, fine particles such as shredded bark or compost typically make the best mulch for plants. Spread the mulch at a thickness of no more than three inches around the base of plant, being sure to leave about one to two inches of space near the stem.
Mulch Maintenance Tips
Once you’ve applied mulch for plants and trees, you’ll need to maintain it periodically. The frequency and type of required maintenance steps will depend on factors such as the type of mulch, the time of year and the weather conditions. General maintenance tips include:
- Rake or break up old, matted mulch on a regular basis
- Replenish mulch as needed, keeping in mind that decomposable organic mulch such as grass clippings or wood chips will need replenished more frequently than stone or gravel materials
- Consider replacing old mulch whenever you clean out and prepare growing areas for the start of the new season
Mulch Products From Zeager Bros., Inc.
Zeager Bros. Inc. is your source for various mulch types and colors. Our natural wood mulch products are available in two mixes:
- Colored Mulch: Our colored mulches will enhance the appearance of your property. Our dyed mulches provide long-lasting color and a consistent appearance and are not toxic to animals or plants. And with mulch colors including brown, red, black and coffee, it’s easy to find the best mulch color for your landscaping.
- Planting Mulch: Our two-in-one planting mulch is a 100%-natural plant-derived product that combines remarkable decorative properties with superior soil enhancement capabilities. Mix it with soil as you plant or apply it on top of soil to serve as an attractive finishing landscaping touch after planting.
Contact Zeager Bros., Inc. today to learn more about what makes ours the best wood mulch for landscaping your commercial or residential property.