Summer is almost here, and many people can’t wait to get to the beach or go camping. But many others are excited because it’s gardening season!
Did you know that gardening improves mental health? It’s true! Avid gardeners report increased focus and decreased stress when tending their plants. And the healthy bacteria in the soil can boost your immune system!
You’d love to have a healthy garden this year, and you want your ornamental plants and trees to look their best.
Let’s learn more about how mulch can help achieve these goals and the many other benefits of mulch in your yard and garden.
Mulch Helps Control the Temperature of Soil
One of the biggest problems gardeners face is the weather. Most seeds and plants need a strict planting schedule that revolves around the last frost date.
But Mother Nature is fickle and doesn’t always stick to a schedule.
Mulching your garden and plant beds can increase soil temperature in those last few weeks before spring. Your seeds and seedlings can withstand a few cold nights since the soil is slightly warmer.
Mulch also cools the soil in the summer heat and helps prevent your plant’s roots from overheating and drying out.
Mulch Inhibits Weed Growth
Weeds are the nemesis of most gardeners. Weeds are ruthless and will steal water and sun from your plants every chance they get. But using chemical herbicides isn’t always desirable.
Mulching helps keep weed growth down, and makes weeds easier to identify. Since you know what your garden plants look like it’s easy to notice an intrusive weed. It’s also easy to remove those weeds and give your healthy garden a fighting chance.
You can also consider landscape fabric for weed control. Landscape fabric covers a large area of your garden. Holes are created for the plants to grow through, and the fabric prevents weeds from sprouting.
Mulch Helps Prevent Water Loss
As gardeners, we want to give our plants the best care possible. But as many parts of the country face water shortages, we have to use our resources wisely. This is where mulch can help.
When you mulch your plants it protects your soil from the sun’s heat. Mulching helps prevent water from evaporating too fast, giving your plants much-needed moisture. And as mentioned above, mulch helps regulate the temperature of the soil.
When the soil remains cool, less water is lost.
Mulch Adds Nutrients to the Soil
Mulch can consist of several types of material, but wood chips or bark are the most common. This type of mulch is excellent for minimizing moisture loss, but it can also add nutrients to your soil.
Some types of wood contain more acid. Potatoes, beans, peppers and cabbage all thrive in acidic soil. Flowers like gardenias, hydrangeas, azaleas and rhododendrons also love soil with higher acid content.
Additionally, as the wood chips decompose, they add even more nutrients to the soil. Mulching every year increases the health of your soil over time, resulting in healthier plants.
Mulch and Earthworms: The Perfect Match
Earthworms are a gardener’s best friend. They aerate the soil around your plants, allowing the roots to spread and absorb more water. The waste earthworms leave behind enriches the soil with vital nutrients.
And when earthworms eat the organic material in your mulch, they create new soil!
Adding mulch to your garden creates the perfect environment for earthworms. Since the soil under the mulch stays moist, it’s easier for earthworms to dig closer to the surface.
Earthworms are attracted to healthy soil, and they can even move through the drainage holes in your potted plants. So be sure to add mulch to your pots so the earthworms have an ideal environment for growth.
A Tidy Yard Is One of the Benefits of Mulch
Curb appeal matters even if you’re not selling your house. You spend a lot of time working on your yard and garden, and you want it to look tidy.
Mulching creates a uniform look in your flower beds, especially when you have a border surrounding the bed. This makes an excellent distinction between your flowers and your grass.
You can even add a layer of gravel to your mulch for an additional decorative touch.
Mulch also looks nice when placed around the trunks of your trees. It can camouflage and protect roots that are partially above ground. Mulch also helps you keep your distance when using your mower or weedwhacker.
Accidentally striking your tree trunk with the weedwhacker can injure or kill your tree. Creating a mulch barrier looks attractive and reminds you to be cautious.
Prevent Soil Erosion With Mulch
Now that you’ve used mulch to enhance your soil’s health and nutrients, you’d like to keep it that way. The solution? More mulch!
Regular mulching helps prevent soil erosion. By creating a barrier between your soil and wind and rain, you’re helping the soil stay in place. This protects your plants and the earthworms that call your garden home.
Soil retention is also necessary for other parts of your yard. Sudden soil loss can cause drainage issues. If you discover standing water due to erosion, this can severely damage your plants, trees and grass.
Start Using Mulch for a Healthier Garden
Mulching is one of the most cost-effective ways to enhance the health of your plants and the soil. You can look forward to a bigger harvest from your garden and prettier blooms from your flowers. You’ll also save water and help protect your property from soil erosion.
Would you like to learn more about the benefits of mulch? Visit our website for ways to keep your plants healthy and happy all year round.