Is mulching important? If there is one thing you can do to help your landscape plantings do the best that they can, it is to mulch and mulch properly.
What does mulch provide? Weed control, erosion control, moisture retention and can moderate soil temperatures.
As most people know mulch is used to keep weeds down in the landscape bed or perennial garden. You will need at least two inches of compacted mulch to do a good job of preventing weed growth. To achieve a two inch layer you will need to apply three inches of loose material to account for any settling. For additional weed prevention consider using a pre-emergent in the spring. A pre–emergent is usually applied in the spring and sometimes again during the summer months. They are applied before seeds germinate to prevent their growth. A combination of mulch and an effective pre emergent will ensure you spend very little time weeding your landscape beds.
Covering the ground with mulch keeps your top soil in place and helps prevent erosion. We have all seen areas of bare ground during a rain. The soil gets compacted by the rain drops and most of the water runs off. Mulch takes the energy out of a rain drop and allows the water to spread so it has time to soak in the ground, not run off. Simply by covering the soil in your landscape beds and flower gardens with a two inch layer of mulch, you may be reducing your watering needs by half by limiting moisture loss due to sunlight and wind.
The cooling effect provided by mulch is amazing. Depending on the color of mulch you choose soil temperature can go up or down. Darker mulches hold heat while lighter colored mulch or those that fade to a light color actually keep the soil temperature cooler. Cooler soil temperatures may delay green up of some shrubs and perennials, which may protect them from a late frost.
Yes, mulching is important. Contact the professionals at “Landscape Consultants LLC” if you have any questions about mulching your landscape.