What’s the secret to a lush, blooming garden?
Home gardeners can sometimes get caught up in the idea of investing in nifty tools and implements for their hobby. But according to an expert in landscaping in Riverton, Utah, one trick that many homeowners miss is mulching.
What exactly is mulching, and how can it benefit your garden?
Mulching and its benefits
Mulches refer to materials that are put on top of the soil both for aesthetic and practical purposes. Mulches can be organic or inorganic, and are used for a diverse set of purposes.
But why use mulches? Here’s a brief rundown of the uses and benefits of mulching.
Weed and pest control
Got a weed problem? Before reaching for an herbicide, you might want to consider applying a layer of mulch on your garden’s topsoil. Mulches help control weeds by preventing these pests from accessing sunlight.
Some types of pests are repelled by the scent of certain kinds of mulches. But, according to a trusted landscaping expert in West Valley City, Utah, homeowners should consult the pros if they are planning to use mulches for pest control because some types of mulches can attract unwanted garden visitors, too.
Moisture and nutrient retention
A layer of mulch on top of the soil slows down the rate of evaporation. This is particularly beneficial during hot summers as this can help plants get enough water while helping you control your water bill.
Mulches can also prevent soil erosion. This means that more nutrients are kept in the soil and benefit your plants instead of simply being washed away by heavy downpour.
Organic mulches, in particular, can attract earthworms.
What’s the deal with earthworms, you may ask. Earthworms are a welcome guest to any garden because these organisms help enrich the soil by aiding in the breakdown of organic matter as well as in improving its structure.
Mulches can give your garden a unified, more polished appearance.
Sure, you can use grass and groundcover for that purpose. But with mulches, you do not have to invest a lot of time and effort in making your yard look great.
Organic vs. inorganic
Which type of mulch should you use in your garden?
In order to better answer this question, it is worthwhile to know the difference between the types of mulches.
Mulches that are made up of materials that decompose are considered organic. Due to their organic nature, these mulches, with the aid of microorganisms, provide the soil with nutrients.
Apart from enriching the soil, organic mulches can also attract worms, help improve moisture and nutrient retention, and improve soil drainage.
If there is one drawback to this type of mulch, it would be the fact that you will need to replenish it over time.
Organic mulch ingredients include:
- Wood chips
- Shredded leaves
- Grass clippings
Unlike organic mulches, inorganic mulches do not break down and provide the soil with nutrients. However, inorganic mulches do provide a few key benefits. These include increasing soil temperature, pest control, and protection against soil erosion.
Conversely, though, inorganic mulches have a few cons.
For one, these mulches do not look natural. You may also need to spend more time watering your garden as this type of mulch can inhibit the penetration of water into the soil. Finally, inorganic mulches are more difficult to install compared to their organic counterparts.
Inorganic mulches include:
- Landscape fabrics
Making the choice
At the end of the day, your choice between inorganic and organic, or even individual kinds of mulches, simply boils down to the specific purpose you have in mind.
Whatever type of mulch you choose for your garden, make sure that you follow the proper application techniques to get the most out of it and prevent any unwanted side effects.
If you are unsure about mulching and the proper techniques that need to be implemented in your garden, do not hesitate to consult local landscaping professionals.