Mulch & Your Landscape


One of the best things you can do for your trees and bedding plants is adding a mulch coat. Organic mulches have many natural benefits in addition to adding color and texture to a landscape, preserving moisture, and preventing weeds. They help prevent soil compaction, act as a soil conditioner, and even promote the presence of natural aerators, such as earthworms.

By contributing to potassium supply, adding nutrients will add nitrogen, phosphorus, and trace elements to the soil. It is an ideal way to use recycled waste in the yard.

Mulching materials can be natural or inorganic. Popular organic mulches include chips of wood, shredded bark, needles of pine, shredded leaves, and straw. Clippings of the lawn and even the planting of items such as field corncobs and buckwheat and cocoa bean hulls are also coverings of choice. Inorganic or commercial mulches can be found in various varieties, colors and price ranges. Your landscape professional can help you understand your application’s timing and type of mulch.

There are a few things to consider when spreading mulch around trees or in your garden beds before you get out of the shovel and trowel: when you start mulching, stick with it. Removing a mulch layer will dry out the soil and hurt the roots below.

For proper mulching, there are usually two cycles. After the soil has thawed, a layer of mulch should be added to your garden beds in the winter. After the ground is frozen, a second mulch application in the fall will further isolate and protect plants.

It’s a common mistake most homeowners make to place the mulch around trees. Mounting mulch against the trunk of a tree may cause bark rot, disease, and problems with insects. Instead, spread the mulch so that it extends about three to four inches deep from the base of the tree. Make sure the outer edges are lower. The form of the saucer can keep the mulch away from the tree and allow the tree’s root system to retain and disperse water.


Consider spreading mulch over time. Spreading too thick a mulch can make roots grow shallow and make them more vulnerable to death during extended periods of dryness.

Using woody or bark mulches in places where a lot of digging is not going to be done like around trees and in flower beds.  This offers a much better appearance and will add colors that will compliment any home. For vegetable gardens where replanting can be commonplace, lighter mulch content such as grass, which is quickly worked into the soil, is better suited.

When it comes to your landscape, you want to add value to your home and create an oasis that allows you a relaxing place to come home too.  It can be a place to read a book and relax. Your landscape allows you a place to get your stress out on by mulching and gardening. With so many benefits, why not mulch? Mulch application certainly adds a finished look to your Hardscape. It just finishes off a focus area esthetically; however, its higher value lies in the benefits it offers to the secret roots it protects.  Keep that in mind next time you are out in your yard! What are you waiting for?! Get out there and get to mulching!