garden with mulch

Are you looking forward to having the landscape you have always wanted? Mulch can be a perfect addition to get there. However, before you spread the mulch, there are some rules you need to follow.

Don’t make the mulch too deep.

Particularly for people using organic mulch, it is sometimes tempting to pile on the mulch when designing your landscape. Because it will eventually decompose and add nutrients to the soil, you may think, “The more the merrier.” Do not make this mistake. Putting down more than three inches of mulch can block water and nutrients from reaching the soil or can sometimes trap water in the root area, causing root rot. Excess mulch can lead to unhealthy soil and nutrient deficiencies that make the area unsuited for growing plants. Keep your mulch at three inches to maximize the benefits.

Don’t put mulch right up against plants.

For the clean appearance of your landscape, it can also be tempting to spread mulch right up against the edges of your plants or home. Doing so can lead to significant issues, however. Having mulch up against your trees can lead to wood rot and growth of disease that will kill your plants. Girdling, a process when roots grow upward around themselves, can also occur, suffocating your tree.

Let your soil warm up before mulching.

If you are spreading mulch during the late winter or early spring, allow the soil to warm up before putting down mulch. Putting the mulch down on frozen soil can trap in the cold moisture, preventing soil from drying out and delaying plant growth. While mulch works very effectively to stop weed growth, you don’t want to have that same effect on your desired plants. Once the soil has warmed up, make sure to feed the plants and water the soil prior to mulching.

Make sure your mulch isn’t contaminated.

This rule is incredibly important. If your mulch has bugs, pesticides, or weed seeds, spreading mulch that is contaminated can lead to your entire yard being contaminated. Particularly in hay mulch, you should check specifically that there are no weed seeds, or you may unintentionally plant weeds throughout your garden. These contaminants are more commonly found in homemade mulches, so it is valuable to invest in professionally-made mulch. Express Landscape Products in Utah provides manufactured, weed-free organic mulch that can beautify your landscape while keeping your soil healthy. Also, if you have a pet, make sure to check that the mulch you are using is animal-friendly.

Know the differences between organic and inorganic mulches.

Organic mulches decompose and will eventually break down to become part of the soil, such as grass, leaves, manure, straw, or bark chips. On the other hand, because they break down, they don’t last as long and will need to be replaced sooner. Inorganic mulches, such as rubber mulch, stones, pebbles, etc. do not break down and need to be removed before spreading a fresh layer of mulch. However, inorganic mulch can last for up to 10 years before replacing. Understand the benefits and drawbacks of each kind of mulch so you can choose the mulch that is most advantageous for your landscape.

Mulch can be very beneficial for your soil and plants when it is used correctly. Express Landscape Products is happy to serve anyone in the state of Utah with their mulching needs for a beautiful, healthy landscape!

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