Garden Mulch 101

Mulch and the act of mulching your garden is an essential part of ensuring proper growth. But what exactly is mulching and why do you need to do it? If you’ve ever wondered this along with any other questions you’ve had about mulch, then read on for the answers to some killer gardening questions.

What is mulch?

Mulch is any kind of material that you cover your soil with in order to improve its health and keep it well hydrated. It also helps to prevent weeds from growing around your plants and taking vital nutrients and moisture away from them, preventing them from flourishing. Mulch is placed over soil and around the base of plants. 

Different types of mulch

The majority of mulch falls into one of the following two categories:

Organic mulch – Organic mulch is made up of naturally occurring materials that were once living, such as grass, leaves, bark, and straw.

Inorganic mulch – Inorganic mulch is the opposite of the organic kind and can include plastic materials, stones and gravel, newspaper, and fabrics.

Organic mulch benefits the soil by adding its own nutrients as it decomposes, which can improve the fertility of the soil. Inorganic mulch, on the other hand, does not break down. This gives it the benefit of being long lasting, so it can block sunlight and keep in warmth for longer.

The benefits of mulch

We’ve mentioned a few already, but here are some of the main reasons that gardeners mulch their soil:

  • Regulates the temperature of the soil
  • Blocks out sunlight needed for weeds to grow
  • Organic mulch adds nutrients to your soil
  • Keeps the soil moist and well hydrated
  • Increases the activity of worms and insects in the soil that add nutrients

Basically, all of the benefits of mulch help to create soil conditions that allow the plants you’re growing to thrive.

When should you mulch your garden?

Now you know the basics about mulch, you need to know when you should spread mulch over your soil for maximum effect. Mulching is an effective way to prevent your soil from drying out during the warm summer months as it helps to block the sun and keep the moisture in. Mulch should also be spread in preparation for cold weather during the winter months in order to prevent the soil from freezing. You can read more here about mulching and other ways to prepare your garden for winter.

If you’re ready to start mulching in your garden, then check out the range of mulch we have for sale from Stratford Landscape Supply. We also provide landscape services for customers around Winston Salem, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville.