While many people use mulch in their flower beds, it is rare to find it elsewhere. Many people mulch their gardens or pots. In fact, mulch should be used in many more places for several reasons. Mulch is a great way to protect your soils while adding a decorative touch to your landscape. But it’s not just about aesthetics; mulch is also very practical! Are you familiar with all its benefits?
Here is a list of the main benefits of using mulch:
- Limits the growth of weeds
Weeds are constantly invading gardens and taking over plants. Covering the soil with mulch creates a dense, thick barrier over it, which prevents the sun from reaching the weed seeds in the soil. As a result, the seeds are unable to germinate since their main source of energy is the sun. This is a much more sustainable and natural strategy to use over chemicals.
- Reduces the need of watering
Adding a layer of mulch to the soil helps to retain moisture much longer as it prevents the sun’s heat from drying out the soil. Mulch acts like a sponge; it absorbs a good amount of water, which is great for your plants and saves you time on watering.
- Reduces the infestation of certain insects
Because of its rough texture, mulch is feared by slugs and snails. These types of insects can be harmful to plants. Mulch is a great alternative to keep these small bugs away.
- Mitigates the effects of large and abrupt temperature changes
Drastic temperature changes are harmful to plant roots. Mulch is the perfect type of insulation for your soil. It cools the soil during summer and retains the heat when the temperatures drop, creating the perfect environment for your plants.
- Adds organic matter to the soil
If you use organic mulch made from fallen leaves, for example, it will decompose over time and add beneficial nutrients to the soil.
Mulch seems easy to use, but it is important to have some basic knowledge beforehand. Here are some steps to follow when adding mulch to your landscape.
Choosing the right mulch
First, it is important to choose a type of mulch that is ideal for your needs. When it comes to gardens, a mulch that decomposes quickly, such as an organic or plant material, is ideal. For flower beds, regular cedar mulch is your best bet.
The ideal time of year to apply mulch is late spring and early summer as the soil begins to warm up and most plants are no longer in the dormancy phase. It is important to remove the weeds from the surface prior to installation. Then simply apply a layer of about 5 to 10 centimeters around the plants. Be careful, the mulch should not cover the plants or be too close to the stems so as not to impede air circulation. Cooler, shaded areas require a thinner layer, while warmer, sunny areas require a thicker one.
It is important to stir or rake the mulch from time to time to keep it aerated. When it becomes too compact, it prevents oxygen from reaching the roots. It is recommended to add a new layer of mulch once a year or when the layer becomes too thin.
By now you know that mulching is an essential step for the well-being of your plants. Since you know all its benefits and importance, you have all the tools in hand to have beautiful plants and a beautiful garden for the summer season! Visit your garden centre to find everything you need!