I don’t know about you, but every time I hear the word mulch, I think of that insurance commercial where millennials impersonate their dads. Someone in the commercial says, “That’s some good mulch.” Gets me every time. If you have not guessed by the title, or the introduction, this blog is going to be about mulch. This piece will hopefully help you gather new knowledge about mulch and APPLY it in real life. (Pun definitely intended!)
Mulching is one of those things you need to research a bit before you try it yourself. Mulch helps your lawn by allowing your soil to conserve moisture, prevent weeds, limit water runoff, and even reduce erosion. Mulch also lessens the impact of foot traffic on your lawn and can even add organic matter to your soil. Now that we know what mulch can do for your lawn and its soil, let’s discuss some more information related to applying it.
How Much Mulch is too Much Mulch…?
Exactly what material you are using for your mulch will determine how much mulch you will need. If you are applying this mulch to flower beds, then you would need to do so about twice a year and use about three inches of mulch each time. When it comes to your lawn and spots that you have deemed to require mulch, again, it depends on the situation. A normal, reasonably healthy lawn, may require one to two inches of mulch. Some people may use four to six inches of mulch based on the condition of their soil. Once you recognize the amount of mulch needed, make sure you do not just drop the mulch on the surface all at once. This can lead to your plants being smothered. Instead, apply your mulch in turns.
Here are a few additional tips that will lead to a successful mulch application:
- Never mulch when there is wind.
- If your soil is frozen, do not mulch.
- Do not mulch if there are weeds in your soil.
- The best season to mulch is spring.
- Add a lot of water before and after you mulch.
- Apply mulch when your seedlings are four to six inches in height.
- Leave an inch around the plant stem clear of any mulch to prevent damage.
Mulch to do about nothing.
When you find dry spots or bare spots in your soil, do not ignore what is going on. If there is no growth or nutrients there, attempt to fix it. If you keep your soil dry and bare it can lead to erosion or sediment runoff. The last things you want are floods and damage to your property. Research has found that bare soil loses around five times more sediment than soils that are covered and cared for with mulch. So applying mulch can turn nothing into something!
Mulch benefits more than just your lawn. We mentioned before that it also helps your flowerbeds. Now, we will take it one step further by adding that mulch also helps your trees, hedges and shrubs. Yes, mulch prevents the spread of weeds or damage from harsh weather conditions. But mulch still does more than that! If you applied mulch around your trees or along the base of your hedges, it will act as a protective shield. Mulch will protect your trees, hedges and shrubs from threats from other plants, pests, and diseases. It also provides a natural border and can deter foot traffic or mowers coming a little too close to your plant life. Mulch allows your plants to remain safely away from many dangers.
Like most things, mulch comes in various shapes and sizes. Mulch has a vast array of textures as well. Some types include pine straw and bark. These options depend on your location. For example, pine straw is not easily obtained in our local area of El Dorado, KS. Sometimes it is recommended that you try a new mulch. So if you are looking to update your mulch, do some more research on the unique varieties available. Some people in other regions have gotten really creative and used options such as cocoa bean shells, nut hulls, and even seaweed. While the Divine team doesn’t typically use these types of mulch, we hear that cocoa beans are the best smelling type of mulch around!
When looking to add curb appeal to your property, not only is better smelling mulch a great option, but there are other defining features to look for as well. The colors of certain mulches definitely compliment specific properties and landscapes. You want to choose a mulch type based on the color scheme of your landscaping. For a quick example, some people like to apply darker mulch on their property near flowers or flower beds, to make the colors of their plant life really pop. This only helps in adding to the curb appeal of the property.
Another tip related to application of mulch is to make sure your mulch is thinner in areas that are closer to edges. You do not want a ton of mulch on your pavement or stepping stones. The thinner the mulch is around areas with edges, the more it adds to the overall appeal of your landscape and property.
Make sure to take the time and clean out your mulch. Try not to use old and bad mulch on your property or landscape. You have to add and apply much once or twice a year consistently. So if you are applying it annually, make sure that you are removing some of the old mulch too. You can also turn the mulch on the bottom every few months. This is important to do with the flowerbeds in your landscape. The newer the mulch is, the healthier your landscape will be! Also, make sure you are getting your mulch from a reputable place. There is such a thing as bad mulch. Bad mulch often has weeds or weed seeds mixed in because it was out on a field amongst weeds before it was bought. Some bad mulch can also contain termites and other pests. Make sure you take the time to buy proper mulch from a good
We hope that you found this information useful. Mulch is a vital part of your landscape’s health and therefore is something that needs to be discussed and not overlooked. We also know people who have landscapes and gardens love discussing mulch, so we wanted to give you as much information as we could. Of course, we are here if you need any assistance with your mulch or any landscaping needs. We are proud to support the residents of El Dorado, Augusta, and Towanda, KS with their mulching and more! If you are out of our service area, but still want to learn about similar topics, keep checking our blogs weekly for more information related to lawn care needs. There is mulch more to be discussed!