Finding the Right Mulch

There are several things you will need to decide any time you focus on the landscaping of your home. You will want to look at which plants and flowers you find appealing, how much landscaping you would like in your yard, and how easy you want it to be to maintain. And, with these important decisions, you will also need to determine how to use fertilizer effectively and which mulch is right for your yard.

The Purpose of Mulch

Before you can choose which mulch to go with, you need to know what the purpose of mulch is. Of course the most obvious purpose is for appearance purposes. The right mulch can make your landscaping really stand out from your neighbors. But mulch is also very important for the health of your plants and shrubbery.

Mulch can actually protect the hydration of the soil by preventing evaporation of water. And, they can prevent the soil from washing away in heavy rains as well. Mulch also is a great shade for the roots of the plants in the summer and an excellent insulation in the winter. It can also be a great defense against weeds as they reduce the spreading of weed seedlings. But, be careful as some mulch actually encourages weed growth.

Even more, there are types of mulch that actually nourish the soil. This is because they actually add vital nutrients to the soil as they decay. But, be careful as some types actually remove the nitrogen out of the soil that plants need in order to survive.

Mulch Types

There are two basic types that mulch can be classified as: organic and inorganic. Organic actually comes from plants. It breaks down and decays over time and affects the characteristics of the soil. Because they break down, they need to be replaced periodically.

How quickly they decay will affect how often they need to be replaced. For example, if you use grass clippings, you will need to replace it quite often as it will decomposed rapidly. However, if you use wood chips you may only need to replace them annually at the beginning of your growing season.

Inorganic mulches like stones or fabric will not decay and affect the make-up of the soil. Since it does not decay it does not have to be replaced often if at all. But, they add no extra nutrients at all to the soil.

There are numerous types of mulches in both organic and inorganic categories. Some of the most common organic mulches are wood chips, bark chips, grass clippings, compost, manure, saw dust, peat moss, straw, leaves or paper. Of course some of these are going to be less appealing than others. Paper is not very visually appealing so you will need to consider that before selecting this type. Furthermore, manure has a strong smell that could be off putting.

The most common types of inorganic are plastic film, river rock, pea gravel, geo textile, or gravel. Of course these are all primarily for decorative purposes. When choosing an inorganic mulch, you will only need to consider cost and your preference on what will look best in your yard.

Now that you have a good understanding on what types of mulch are available and how they affect your plants, you can make an educated decision. You will also need to consider the initial cost as well as any costs there will be in maintaining it in the future. If you consider all of this information, you will have a lot of success in finding the right mulch for your landscaping needs.

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