The Power of Mulch

Mulch is a vital ingredient to any successful garden or landscape; it’s almost as vital as the soil itself, especially in these days of drought. Proper mulching provides many benefits to landscapers and gardeners; the most important one being increased water retention in the soil. A covering of mulch blocks evaporation, keeping the soil (and itself) damp for much longer between watering and those oh-so-rare things called rainfalls. It also prevents run off, which helps cut down on waste.

Mulch occurs in nature as well as the garden. Think of leaf litter in the forests and flowers in the meadows, for example; these natural mulches absorb moisture and protect the soil by preventing erosion. They also feed the soil as they decay, providing nutrient-rich humus. In addition to its water-saving benefits, mulch encourages oxygen retention to keep root systems healthy.

Here are more reasons mulch is vital to a healthy landscape and garden:

  • It cuts down on weed growth.
  • It hides imperfections.
  • It supports newly-planted groundcovers, giving them time to grow and knit together by keeping weeds at bay.
  • It protects trees & shrubs by providing a barrier against damage caused by string trimmers and lawn mowers, all while improving soil quality.
  • It insulates the soil – and plants – from the effects of cooler weather.
  • It gives homes to many small predators, which eat the nasty ones that feed on your plants. Example: Ants & ground spiders nest in mulch and enjoy a healthy diet of underground pest eggs and larvae.
  • Decorative Bark Mulches, well add the above but also add some flare to your landscape. Hydro-Scape carries many sizes of decorative bark; from walk-on bark to small bits.

Don’t apply too much mulch, though; two – three inches is all you need. Any more mulch than that and you run the risk of keeping moisture and oxygen from the soil instead of helping to retain it. The result? Root systems that navigate to the surface where they can get these essential elements. If you have surface tree root issues, apply mulch lightly. Use just enough to cover the roots and give your yard a nice look, but don’t try to bury them; it’ll only make the problem worse.

It’s a fine balance as organic mulch decays given time and the layer thins out. You’ll need to add more now and then to keep it at the optimal two – three inch level. There you have it! Why we at Hydro-Scape recommend mulch being used in your landscape projects.