Best Mulch For Gardens: What Type Of Mulch Will Best Suit Your Needs

Are you a certified plant lover? Do you enjoy gardening and consider yourself as a person with a green thumb? If you do, then you are probably familiar with what mulch is and you’ve probably used this in your gardening.

Most people nowadays enjoy their free time tending to their garden, or caring for plants since this is an effective way to reduce stress and it is an activity anyone can easily enjoy. While it is surely an activity that anyone can learn to do, it certainly proves to be helpful knowing more about tending your own garden.

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Gardener-mulching-flower-bed-with-pine-tree-bark-mulch

Gardener mulching flower bed with pine tree bark mulch

Mulch is a common item in gardening that most people know. It is a useful material for plant lovers and owners and has several functions like water conservation and moisture retention. Mulch in your soils helps in preventing it from drying out, and keeps the soil moist and can help reduce watering by about 60 percent.

Mulching also helps in keeping weeds and weed seed germination away, helping you plants thrive without the threat of weeds competing for moisture and nutrients. It also helps keep the soil temperature regulated, and using an organic mulch in your soil means you are also adding organic matter into it to help it thrive.

There are two main types of mulches - organic and inorganic, but if you are looking for what type of mulch will give you the most benefit, it is better to opt for organic mulches since it eventually breaks down and adds organic matter to the soil. This improves the soil’s structure and drainage and helps encourage the thriving of earthworms and soil microbial activity.

Choosing The Right Type Of Mulch

Some types of organic mulches are bark, compost, grass clippings, shredded leaves and straws and hays. There is a wide variety of organic mulches that you can choose from depending on your needs.

Bark mulches are the best choice to use around trees, shrubs and garden beds where you are not required to do a lot of digging. You can use it in places like front walkways and foundation plantings. Although this type of mulch doesn't mix well into the soil due to its woody nature and can become a hassle to move every time you need to make way for new plants, this lasts longer compared to finer organic mulches. 

Grass-Clippings-mulch

Grass clippings mulch

There are also composts you can use as a coating of mulch as long as it is well composted and weed-free. You can use this as a side dress for your plants during the growing season to insulate and boost the release of nutrients.

Grass clippings are a type of mulch that comes in a mixed bag and is best used for areas where you want to prevent weeds from growing. This type of mulch also allows water to pass through better compared to other mulches. 

Shredded leaves are also a common mulch that you can use. This mulch is a favorite since you can use this almost anywhere you want. This will attract earthworms into your garden soil.

Shredded leaves are the perfect type to use for woodland gardens and this decomposes well and blends into your soil over time. Make sure to spread a layer of mulch prior to your plants growing or spreading out, to give it time to blend in with your soil.

Inorganic mulches such as stone pebbles, scoria and gravel are also available. These types of mulches don’t break down and come in different types and colors. This works best on pot plants since it not only adds a layer of protection, but also makes your plant more visually appealing. 

Always keep in mind that when using this type of mulches outdoors such as your front walkway or garden, make sure to keep it from getting littered by leaves or other debris otherwise it will look messy. 

The-compost-in-the-family-garden-full

The compost in the family garden full

How To Use Mulch

Once you determine what mulch would be most appropriate for you, it is also important to know how much you need to use. The depth of mulch you need to apply depends on what mulch you are using. Coarse mulches such as straw and hay or shredded leaves ideally need to be around 2 to 6 centimeter thick.

You can assess how much you need to use based on the material of the mulch you have. Aside from knowing how to use mulch, you also have to take note that you have to also keep birds away from picking mulch in your garden. You can use plants as a border, such as low hedge plants or perennials to prevent birds from flicking the mulch and making a mess.

How-to-use-mulch

The gardener doing the mulching in a flowerbed spreading the mulch around a tree trunk

Gardening is surely a stress-free activity you can enjoy at the comfort of your own home. You don’t need a huge space to start and you can easily find resources that are available to you. It certainly becomes a breeze especially when you know how to make the most out of your garden, but if you are unsure of what mulch to use, you can always seek professional help to guide you in your gardening endeavor. You can head over to http://soilyourself.com.au to help you select the type of mulch that suits your needs. With a wide variety of options to choose from, you’ll certainly find the type of mulch you are looking for and you are sure that you are on your way to a better gardening experience.

See more via You Tube: How to Mulch a Garden Bed

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