You’re not just mulching a flower bed for aesthetics. It may make the flower beds look pretty, but mulching has great benefits!
Stop pulling weeds
Ever wonder why a bare patch of soil loves to grow weeds? That’s just mother nature protecting her soil from blowing or washing away. Mulching is a chore that will save you time and headache from pulling weeds. It keeps weeds down, mainly by blocking out light they need to grow.
Mulching can help control erosion
Mulching conserves soil moisture by reducing evaporation, and helps prevent erosion caused by rain and wind. Bare soil often gets a crust on it that prevents rain from penetrating easily. Also, the bare soil can lose about 5 times as much sediment as soils covered with mulch.
Mulch moderates soil temperatures
Mulch keeps soil cooler in summer and helps to reduce the risk of damage to plant roots in winter.
Mulch keeps top soil loose and airy
Organic material adds all-important humus, the organic component of soil, formed by the decomposition of leaves and other plant material by soil microorganisms. Great for plants!
How to Lay Mulch in a Flower Bed
- If re-mulching a bed, remove some of the old mulch. Sometimes mulch has been added to the beds 3 or 4 times. Take out some of the mulch that has built up over time.
- Layer mulch 2″ to 4″ deep over bare soil around your plants. Don’t put it right on top of perennials and keep it from direct contact with the bark of trees and shrubs, as excess moisture right up against the bark can cause rot or disease.
- When you get close to an edge, such as pavement, stone or tiles, be sure to thin out the mulch so the presentation is even.
- What season to lay mulch? Preferably early spring, before hot weather comes and while your annuals & perennials are still small enough to work around.
Quick Tip! If you have a few spare 1 or 2 gallon containers, put them over the top of your plants first. Then, shovel the mulch material right onto your bed without worrying about covering them or dirtying leaves! Lastly, don’t forget to mulch around your trees. Learn more about the benefits of tree mulch here.
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