(by Wendy Proud, California Sales Representative at Mountain States Wholesale Nursery)
Did you know mulching is perhaps the single most important thing you can do for the longevity and overall health of a landscape? Although aesthetic value is likely the most common reason people mulch in CA today, that is slowly changing as our winters continue to be drier, since mulching helps soil retain water. If you’re not hooked on mulching already, here are the important points.
Basics & Benefits of Mulching:
- Only use mulches that support the soil food web. Rubber and rock mulches provide little benefit and perhaps create negative effects on plants and the landscape. Pine needles make a great mulch, decomposing very slowly and changing soil pH little.
- Keep mulch 3-4” thick at all times for maximum effectiveness.
- Keeps roots moist and cooler longer. More even temperatures means the roots can grow year round and that means stronger plants! Yay, thanks from the roots!
- Keeps those pesky weeds from popping up by blocking out the light that can geminate seeds. NO WEEDS= less maintenance!
- As the organic material decomposes it feeds the soil naturally allowing plants to extract what they need and when they need it, which means happy plants.
- Improves soil structure and texture. When you get to this point it’s nirvana!!
- Did you know colored mulches last longer due to UV protective coatings that increase longevity and lower costs? Independent tests have shown color retention for 2 years!
- With any type of mulch, lightly top-dress with a fresh layer each year to maintain a beautiful and happy landscape.
- Succulents and wood mulching- yes/no? YES!!! Just be sure to not bury the plants. Mulch doesn’t know the difference between weeds and those plants we want to keep.
- Looks GREAT!
- When’s the best time to mulch? There’s never a bad time. Get started today!