Mulching: What is it and why should I do it?
Updated: Sep 7
Whether it's controlling weeds, protecting plants from extreme temperatures, or improving soil quality, mulching provides numerous benefits to your backyard.
What is mulch?
Mulch is made from decaying leaves, bark, and compost. It is very important for tree health as it helps regulate temperature and improve soil quality.
The act of trimming and recutting grass to recycle the clipped grass also forms mulch, and the clipped grass is called mulch.
Why is mulching beneficial?
Control weeds. Mulch acts as a barrier between weeds and sunlight by acting as a barrier between how much sunlight can penetrate.
Helps keep you hydrated. Mulching protects the soil from the sun to prevent evaporation. It also reduces water runoff during rain or watering. This will reduce the amount of water you need and save money! Become a superhero that benefits the environment and saves water as a bonus.
Improves the insulating properties of roots. Whether it's hot summer or cold winter, mulch serves to protect the roots of trees and plants in your backyard. Fragile seedlings and young trees that have not yet taken root especially benefit from this protection until they are strong enough to withstand extreme weather.
Soil quality is improved. Mulching is good for the soil as it helps to increase the biological activity of the soil by providing food for beneficial earthworms and microorganisms. It is also good to bind sand or open clay soil together. In the process, the cover itself breaks down and adds nutrients to the soil.
Saves time and effort. Recycling waste such as grass clippings not only saves money, but also saves effort to eliminate that waste. It protects trees and plants from splashing mud during heavy rain.
Beautiful. Mulch is well known for its ability to impart beauty and uniformity to landscape features. It makes old plants look newly planted and adds neatness, precision and elegance to the landscape.
When to mulch?
The right time to mulch your garden depends on the type of plant material you are mulching and the weather conditions.
Mid to late spring is typically the mulching season, which is also when the soil is warmed up by the sub-zero temperatures experienced throughout the winter. Doing it too early slows down the warming process needed for the soil to do its job. Mulching in late fall is also not recommended as it can insulate the ground and prevent plant dormancy. Hormant is the hibernation that plants need to survive the cold winter.
As with all gardening, the timing of mulching is critical to getting all the desired benefits. It is also important to obtain good quality cover so that it can provide organic value to the soil.
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