The mulching market will expand at a CAGR of 7% in the next 10 years. But what is mulch, anyway?
Mulch is a layer of material that covers the soil of your garden. This material serves a range of benefits that contribute to your garden’s health.
For these reasons, any gardener knows that having pristine mulch is step one to an immaculate garden!
Need advice on how to get the most out of your mulch delivery? Let’s take a look at everything you should do after receiving your mulch.
Benefits of Mulch
Mulch is primarily used to improve soil’s water retention. This is especially useful for areas with drier climates, which would otherwise evaporate water too quickly for many plants. By slowing evaporation, mulch allows plants more time to take in as much water as they need and prevents landscapers from wasting water.
It also naturally prevents weeds by blocking their growth paths. A mulch barrier also prevents weed growth from sunlight exposure, preventing it from photosynthesizing for adequate nutrient intake.
Just as it better retains moisture, mulch also insulates soil temperature. This prevents the soil from getting too hot during the summer or too cold during the winter, which could seriously damage plant health. Instead, it minimizes soil temperature fluctuation by trapping the air inside.
This material also enhances soil quality since it’s made of organic material. Microbes and insects feed on it when it breaks down, producing nutritious byproducts essential to the soil below.
Using mulch also upgrades curb appeal since it adds rich color to landscapes. They can also be placed anywhere, whether that be the perimeter of driveways or outside flower beds.
The Various Types of Mulch
Mulches come in three main varieties: wood, rock, and synthetic. Most people, if they wish only to use one type of mulch, will want to select wood mulch. This mulch offers soil-improving properties due to its organic composition and is particularly useful for arid climates.
However, many dedicated landscapers also use rock mulch, which comes in the form of pebbles or stones. These stones range from pea-sized to golf ball-sized pieces and come in a multitude of textures and colors. Rock mulch is also easier to maintain and is better at weed prevention.
Synthetic mulch usually comes in rubber and is usually bought for its long-lasting properties, both in function and aesthetics. However, it’s also the priciest option and does not prevent any weed growth. It’s also challenging to remove and may be toxic to certain plants and animals.
Making the Most of Your Chicago Mulch Delivery
Wise mulch usage and maintenance will help you save money and foster a gorgeous backyard. Following these expert tips can help you achieve both.
Buy In Bulk
If you know landscaping is a long-term passion for you, invest in bulk amounts of mulch. In the long run, it ends up being cheaper than buying small amounts of mulch at a time from the same brand. The more you buy, the lower the cost per cubic yard.
This way, you won’t be scrambling for mulch during the springtime. You can make impromptu mulch replacements and conduct new landscaping projects.
Use the Right Amount of Mulch
Understanding the precise amount of mulch you need. Doing so could help you buy just the right amount you need and prevent expensive mulch wastage.
Step 1: Measure the length and width of all areas you plan to add mulch by square feet. Multiply each area’s length and width to calculate their total square feet. Add each area’s square footage to get your total square footage.
Step 2: Multiple the mulch’s inch thickness (usually 2-3 inches, but 3-4 inches for most beginners and 4-6 inches for areas heavily populated by weeds) by your total square footage.
Step 3: Divide this number by 324. Divide the number you get in step 3 by 324 because one cubic yard of mulch covers 324-square feet one inch deep. The resulting number is the cubic yardage of mulch you need for your landscape.
Keep Rock Mulch Clean
White marble stones from your mulch can look stunning, but they can be challenging to maintain. Nonetheless, maintenance is essential for maintaining their original, pristine luster.
Start easy by blowing away debris with a leaf blower. This way, you can rid the targeted area of your landscape with most of the light debris on it without having to manipulate your mulch placement.
Once again, mulch isn’t just functional. It could also elevate the aesthetics of your landscape, creating a clear definition of different areas of your backyard.
Mulch pathways display a more interesting texture than soil. Wood mulch pathways are still organic, maintaining the naturality of the surrounding area. It’s a great way to structure off different parts of your landscape without adding clashing design elements.
Bury Harmful Plants
Weeds aren’t the only plants negatively affected by mulch. Of course, if placed strategically around flourishing plants, organic mulch can improve their water absorption. But when buried under mulch, they can’t properly photosynthesize and are unlikely to survive.
Mulch is a fantastic defense mechanism that can guide and curb plant growth. Use this to your advantage and use mulch to curb harmful plant growth, such as poison ivy.
You could also use it as a manageable method to prevent invasive plants, such as mint, from overtaking your yard. They’ll stay in place while still continuing to grow, allowing them to still flourish without threatening the viability of your other plants.
Store Organic Mulch Safely
An unopened bag of mulch can last about 5-6 years under optimal storage conditions. Its lifespan continually shortens once it comes into contact with other high-moisture organic matter.
Organic mulch will degrade even more quickly when used in landscapes, lasting about 1-2 years before requiring replenishment. So if you want to preserve your bagged mulch for as long as possible, ensure it’s stored in an area with low moisture and sunlight levels.
Moisture and excessive sunlight can cause organic mulch to degrade. While rock and synthetic mulch can withstand more extreme environmental conditions, organic mulch has specific storage requirements.
Use Eucalyptus for Pest Prevention
Whenever possible, opt for organic mulch with beneficial properties beyond those improving soil. Such types of mulch include eucalyptus mulch.
Not only does eucalyptus smell great, but it can also repel pests from your backyard. Aphids, mites, mice, rats, and wasps are a few out of many pests that find eucalyptus to be hazardous or smell offensive.
Keep in mind that certain pests are attracted to eucalyptus, such as beetles, psyllids, and beetle borers. But if your area is more prone to eucalyptus-hating pests than those that love the plant, then consider incorporating eucalyptus mulch. Doing so can protect your property and landscape from a multitude of potential pest-related damage.
Use Wood and Rock Mulch Together
Although wood and rock mulch have similar purposes, they’re not aesthetically interchangeable. So don’t be afraid to mix up wood and rock while laying out your mulch!
Combining wood and rock mulch can add texture and woodsiness to your backyard, improving surrounding plants as a result. Some homeowners even create patterns with wood and rock mulch for striking visual effects. Others might also vary rock size to enhance their yard’s rustic feel.
This common strategy is especially useful for drier areas since rock mulch can create rock-soil yards that minimize a landscape’s water requirements. At the same time, wood mulch keeps soil as damp as needed, preventing it from rapidly drying out.
The best way to take care of your yard is to utilize expert resources. Local expert resources are even better since they’ll understand the specific requirements of the surrounding locale. So if you’re planning on buying mulch, prioritize local suppliers during your search for great mulch.
By doing so, you could access a host of experts that can recommend an effective mulch layout for your yard. They’ll even ensure that your mulch usage results in a stunning landscape layout, using their years of expertise and irreplaceable training to maximize both function and aesthetics.
Make the Most of Your Mulch Delivery
Mulch can be a vital part of your landscape design, so come back to this guide if you need inspiration on how to use your mulch. Using our tips will ensure your mulch delivery produces a sunning, thriving landscape.
At Fox Landscape Supply, we understand what a pristine landscape needs. That’s why we offer some of the best landscape services and material selections in the Will County and Greater Chicago area. So if you’re a local that needs to make the most of their mulch delivery, shop through our mulch selection today!