Mulch is a great addition to care for your landscaping, but it’s not all created equally. There are two types of mulch you need to learn about, as well as different sub-categories within those types. Understanding the kinds of mulch you can use will help your landscaping thrive.
Organic mulch is a broad category for any type of mulch that will decompose over time. It provides a variety of benefits, with different materials having different effects:
- Wood chips and bark, which are usually aged and dried, can be used all around your landscaping to provide nutrients.
- Grass clippings can put some nitrogen into nitrogen-lacking soil, especially if you’re growing a vegetable garden.
- Straw or hay adds color, prevents weeds from growing, and retains moisture. Just make sure it doesn’t carry weed seeds!
- Newspaper and cardboard can be used as weed suppressants. It’s best used in two to three layers, covered by a layer of heavier organic material. You don’t want to use colored newspaper or coated cardboard, however — only the kinds without toxic inks and dyes.
- Compost is a type of organic mulch that you can make by breaking down organic plant matter until it turns into a darker type of soil.
It may seem strange that inorganic matter could benefit your plants, but it can be very helpful. Inorganic mulch, such as plastic, fabric, and even stones, has its own role to play in landscaping and gardening as long as you use it properly:
- Rocks and stones are ideal for walkways and pathways because they don’t break down. This makes them good for landscaping, even if they can’t help you grow plants.
- A layer of plastic over the soil can keep the soil warm and prevent weeds from growing. However, water cannot pass through it, so you’ll need an irrigation system to make long-term use of plastic.
- Landscaping fabric is designed to let air and water through while keeping out weeds, though it’s a bit more expensive and can deteriorate over time.
If you’re looking for help with your commercial landscaping, Bumgardners Landscape can help. Contact us today.