One of the best steps any homeowner can take to improve their property is to use mulch effectively. Many people use mulch, of course, but not everyone knows how to use it for best results. This article offers some key tips for getting the most out of mulching your landscape.
What Mulch Should Be Used?
No one type of mulch is right for every situation. The best mulch for a certain project depends on where it is placed and what function it serves. For example, for projects like mulching around the perimeter of a house, an inorganic mulch, such as fine gravel, will help control weeds and also avoid attracting insects that might damage your foundation.
For vegetable gardens, using an organic mulch is a good idea in most cases. A compost mulch works well for vegetable gardens, as it provides nutrients that help the plants grow and is also biodegradable.
Pine straw and shredded hardwood both make excellent mulches for flower gardens because they are not only organic but also add visual appeal as well.
How Should Trees Be Mulched?
Trees benefit from mulch, but it's very easy to go wrong when mulching a tree. The most common mistake is known as "volcano" mulching. This improper method involves piling on the mulch directly onto the truck of the tree, with the resulting pile having the shape of a volcano. Doing this to a tree can harm it by attracting insects and rodents and by leading to excessive moisture on the trunk, which can cause decay or disease.
When you mulch a tree, make certain the mulch does not touch the tree itself. Leave a space of at least three inches between the base of the tree and any mulch. The mulch layer should be about two to four inches in depth.
How to Use Mulch Creatively
In addition to using mulch to benefit your plants or control weeds, it's also possible to improve your landscape by getting creative. For example, one neat idea is to make a path on your property made of shredded hardwood mulch. This gives your landscape a rustic look that many homeowners find appealing. For a more elegant look, you might add steps made from natural stone to the path.
Mulching is an important part of maintaining your landscape, but many people simply do not have the time to give this task the attention it deserves. In this case, the best choice is to have a mulching service take care of this job.