How Mulch Can Transform Your Garden!
Mulch is the unappreciated hero of landscaping. It nourishes your plants, reduces maintenance in your flower beds and provides beautiful contrast to colorful flowers! With a little mulch, you can transform messy landscaping into clean and organized garden beds.
The Benefits of Mulching
During the summer, mulch retains moisture by reducing evaporation on sunny days and reflecting UV rays. In the winter it can help trap heat near the roots of your plants and shield them from harsh winds. Mulch suppresses weeds, reducing seasonal maintenance. As it decomposes, nutrients are added back into the soil, keeping your plants healthy!
Mulch can be expensive, especially if bought at big box stores. Save some money by creating your own at home! Many byproducts of yard work can be used as homemade mulch. Fallen leaves create a rich, colorful fertilizer. Pine needles are another viable option, known for making flowers bloom brighter in the spring. Wood chips prevent evaporation and weeds. You can create mulch by renting a wood chipper and feeding untreated wood through the machine. Compost is the most common homemade mulch because of its abundance of nutrients. To learn more about compost, read our newsletter on the subject!
Spreading Your Mulch
This is the part of the project most people dread. Luckily, laying homemade mulch is quite simple. If you are concerned you will not have enough for your flower beds when making it yourself, keep in mind you only need enough to go around the base of your plants.
If you have chosen to purchase treated wood chip mulch, adding an even layer around your entire flower bed will be more effective, spreading nutrients evenly and providing a consistent appearance. After laying your mulch, spray a mist of water over top to keep it from shifting and prevent mulch-less patches from forming. For vegetable gardens, avoid putting mulch around the stem or leaves of the plants, leaving an inch of space. This will prevent fungal growth and garden pests.
There you have it! With just a few simple tricks your flower beds will be even brighter than before while saving you money. Comment below what type of mulch you use!