Mulching your garden is the single most effective way to diminish your gardening workload thus, in the gardening world, making it magic. Mulch is shredded wood, bark, and leaf chips. It can be purely shredded bark or it can be a blend of all three. Mulch is a top dressing that is placed on vegetable gardens, flower gardens, and raised beds. A layer of mulch 2-3 inches thick reapplied every 2-3 years provides protection for the underlying soil and has multiple benefits for the plants that are growing in those areas.
Benefits of mulch include:
- Providing a barrier between the soil and wind and sun thereby decreasing demand for water by approximately 25-30% by helping the soil retain moisture due to decreased evaporation.
- Keeping soil and root temperatures cooler, decreasing stress to plants
- Decreasing weed growth by cutting of light needed for seeds to germinate.
- And all of this decreases gardening workload – yeah!! – and more time to relax and enjoy your garden.
We’ve taken mulch to another level by not just applying this concept to gardens, but also adding mulch to planters, containers, and hanging baskets. The watering benefits are enjoyed in this application as well by decreasing watering by 25-30%.
Just a quick note on rock ‘mulches’ in flowerbeds and around tree roots – They are actually harmful to bedding plants, perennials, and trees because the rocks heat up the soil below and in a sense, bake the roots. Rock mulches hence, increase the water requirements and they can get to be impossible to weed. Many times, rock landscaping goes bad because dust and dirt get blown into them, seeds then get blown in, and then we have a lovely crop of weeds to contend with, living amongst the rock. All this just makes more work. Do a survey the next time you are out walking or driving and see how rock mulches have gone wrong in your neighbourhood.
Mulch makes gardening easier for our busy lives.