Mulch is a layer of environmentally friendly landscape material applied to the surface of an area of soil. For information on TLB Wood Products LLC bulk mulch products please visit our Product Information page.
Benefits of Landscape Mulch
When applied correctly, landscape mulch has the following beneficial effects on plants and soil:
- Mulches prevent loss of water from the soil by evaporation.
- Mulches reduce the growth of weeds, when the mulch material itself is weed-free and applied deeply enough to prevent weed germination or to smother existing weeds.
- Mulches keep the soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, thus maintaining a more even soil temperature.
- Mulches can prevent soil splashing, which not only stops erosion but keeps soil-borne diseases from splashing up onto the plants.
- Organic mulches can improve the soil structure. As the mulch decays, the material becomes topsoil. Decaying mulch also adds nutrients to the soil.
- Mulches prevent crusting of the soil surface, thus improving the absorption and movement of water into the soil.
- Mulches prevent the trunks of trees and shrubs from damage by lawn equipment.
- Mulches will help prevent soil compaction.
- Mulches can add to the beauty of garden landscape by providing a cover of uniform color and interesting texture to the surface.
- Mulched plants have more roots than plants that are not mulched, because mulched plants will produce additional roots in the mulch that surrounds them.
- Mulching is a very important practice for establishing new plantings because it helps to conserve moisture in the root ball of the new plant until the roots have grown out into the surrounding soil. The growth rate and health of trees and shrubs increases when there is no competition for water and nutrients from weeds. Apply mulch on entire beds of shrubs, trees, annuals, herbaceous perennials and ground covers.
- Landscape mulch can also be used to cover trails, driveways, playground and natural areas.
The best time to mulch new plantings is right after you plant them. If applying mulch around established plants and flowerbeds then the best time to apply mulch is in early spring. This is when plants are beginning to grow and before weed seeds start to germinate.
How deep to apply Landscape Mulch
The amount of landscaping mulch to apply depends on the texture and density of the mulch material. Wood and bark mulches are composed of fine particles and should not be more than 2 to 3 inches deep. Excessive amounts of these fine-textured mulches can suffocate plant roots, resulting in yellowing of the leaves and poor growth.
Coarse-textured mulches allow good air movement through them and can be as deep as 4 inches.
An easy tool to determine how many yards of mulch you will need is a mulch calculator. A link to a mulch calculator can be found here.
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