Which type of mulch is best?

As an added benefit, some shredded bark mulches are. Shredded bark is one of the most common and least expensive types of mulch.

Which type of mulch is best?

As an added benefit, some shredded bark mulches are. Shredded bark is one of the most common and least expensive types of mulch. It comes from a variety of sources, including cedars. Shredded bark is one of the best types of mulch for use on slopes and breaks down relatively slowly.

As an added benefit, some crushed bark mulches are by-products of other industries and are considered environmentally friendly. See the mulch packaging for more information. These include hard and soft wood chips, bark, evergreen needles, leaves, grass clippings, compost mixes, newspapers and cardboard, and a variety of other plant by-products composed of materials that decay over time. If any of these substances are introduced into the soil, they can improve soil fertility, aeration, structure and drainage as they decompose.

Because organic mulches break down, they need to be replaced regularly, but most landscape professionals or Tree Arborist prefer organic mulches because of the many benefits they bring to the soil. Various types of covering materials do not break down and therefore do not need to be replaced very often, if they ever do. These options include rock, stone, lava rock, crushing dust, powdered rubber, garden fabrics, and other artificial materials. Inorganic mulches are ideal for decorative use and for controlling weeds.

Because rocks and stones absorb and reflect heat, they have the advantage of heating the soil for fruit and vegetable planting in early spring, but can be harmful to plants during periods of hot, dry weather. Both the bark, chips and seeds of hard and soft wood, the by-products of the wood and paper industries, are often aged and dried, and sometimes even dyed red or black, and then sold in bags. Hardwood works best around trees, shrubs, and on perennial beds, while softwood (usually made of pine) should be reserved for use around large trees and shrubs. Pine tends to be slightly more acidic and therefore takes longer to decompose than other organic mulches.

Clean wheat, barley or oat straw is ideal for lightly covering freshly planted grass. Straw mulch prevents grass seeds from being washed, prevents birds and rodents from feeding and, until decomposed, conserves the moisture that seeds need for good germination. When buying mulch, don't confuse straw with hay. You should avoid the latter, which contains seeds that could sprout like weeds in your garden.

There's no need to go shopping, you can make your own organic mulch using nothing more than grass clippings or shredded leaves. Leaf mulch is ideal for use in garden beds and around trees and shrubs, while grass clippings can be spread in thin layers over vegetable and perennial beds and then turned into soil at the end of the growing season. Be careful not to apply it in thick layers, otherwise the material will be damaged. Also, don't store grass clippings that have been treated with herbicides or insecticides.

Gardening fabric is a better choice for long-term use, as it suppresses weeds but also allows air and water to pass through; however, it is a more expensive material. Gardening fabric is best used with a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips, on top. Get information from the gardening experts at HGTV about the types of mulch you should use and where to use it in the garden, along with other helpful tips on mulching flower beds and orchards. If you want to give up mulch once and enjoy it for years, NuScape rubber mulch is a product you'll love.

But how much mulch is enough? And is it possible to use too much? As a general rule, one to three inches of mulch spread over the ground will serve to keep garden beds protected and keep weeds at bay. If you pick up a handful of mulch and it looks and feels more like dirt, it's time to replace the mulch. While mulching may seem like a simple part of gardening, there are some facts you should know about the different mulches you can use and the benefits of each. Inorganic mulch includes anything made from synthetic materials, such as rubber mulch or plastic weed cloth.

This study concluded that red mulch actually helped grow more tomatoes and produce sweeter strawberries than black mulch. A damp mulch stacked against flower stalks and vegetables can cause them to rot; keep mulch an inch away from crowns and stems. Chances are you've heard of the many benefits of mulch (or if you haven't, read here why you should cover your plants and trees with mulch). NuScape brown mulch looks the same as other wood-based mulches, but is heavier, more durable, and made from 100 percent recycled rubber.

Some vegetable growers have said that red mulch works wonders on certain fruits, and some say that black mulch is the best for warming the earth in winter. Fall is another good time to mulch your garden, especially if you're using organic mulch to improve soil quality. However, if you want more color to accentuate the colors of your plants and flowers, buy custom colored organic mulches (like the red-tinted mulch shown above). Tree and Shrub Mulching When planting new trees or shrubs, a deep layer of mulch can help get these larger landscape features off to a good start.

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