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Mulching: what is it and why you should be doing it?

By September 15, 2021 No Comments

From controlling weeds, protecting plants from extreme temperatures and improving soil quality, mulching has numerous benefits for your backyard.

What is mulch?

Mulch is made from decaying leaves, bark, compost and more. It is invaluable for your tree health as it helps control temperatures and improve soil quality.

The act of recycling grass clippings by finely cutting and re-cutting the grass also forms mulching (called mulch mowing), with the clippings being referred to as mulch.

Why mulching is beneficial?

  • Control weeds. By acting as a barrier between how much sunlight can pass through them, mulch acts as a guard between weeds and sunlight
  • Helps retain moisture. Mulching prevents evaporation by shielding the soil from the sun. It also decreases water run-off during rain or watering. This reduces the amount of water needed, saving you money! Bonus, it’s good for the environment and makes you a water-saving superhero
  • Improve insulation for roots. Whether it is the hot summers or freezing winter, mulch acts like a coat that protects the roots of trees and plants in your backyard. Delicate seedlings and young trees that are yet to take root particularly benefit from this protection until they become strong enough to withstand extreme weather
  • Soil quality is benefitted. Mulching is great for soil as it helps increase biological activity in it by providing beneficial earthworms and micro-organisms with food. It is also great to bind together sandy soil or open clay soil. Mulch itself decomposes and adds nutrients to the soil in this process
  • Saves time and effort. When you recycle waste material such as grass clippings, you save money as well as the effort to get rid of that waste
  • Protects trees and plants from mud splash during heavy rain
  • Looks beautiful. Mulch is known for its ability to provide beauty and uniformity to landscaping features. It can make an old plant look fresh and newly planted, and it brings a tidiness, precision and elegance to the landscaping

When to mulch?

The right time to mulch a garden is dependent on what type of plant material you are mulching and the weather conditions.

In general, mid to late spring is mulching season, that’s also when the soil is warming up from the freezing temperatures it experienced all winter. Doing it too early will slow down the warming process, which the soil needs to do its job. Mulching late in autumn is also not advisable as it can insulate the ground and prevent plant dormancy, which is a much-needed hibernation that helps plants survive the cold winter months.

Parting words

As with everything in gardening, the timing of mulching is critical for it to have all the desired benefits. It is also important to get good quality mulch so it can provide the organic value for your soil.

When in doubt, call the experts…

Treescape provides mulch in a variety of qualities, depending on your requirements. Green mulch, high grade mulch and medium grade mulch are all available from their branches, along with great professional advice from a team who are passionate about green asset management.