May is for Mulching

Now that you’ve done all the hard work of spring cleaning, May is a great time for mulching!

Benefits of mulch

Mulch is spread around or over plants to enrich and insulate the soil. Mulch helps soil retain moisture in the summer when the temperatures rise, allowing plants to survive the summer heat. Mulch can also help to suppress weeds as it deprives weeds of the light they need to grow. Lastly, it provides an aesthetic appeal to your garden beds and can be used as a form of decoration.

Types of mulch

Any organic material can be mulch however the most popular type used by homeowners is wood chips which is effective and readily available for purchase. Organic mulch will decompose and have to be replaced however it does improve your soils fertility. Examples of organic mulch include:

  • Grass clippings
  • Shredded leaves
  • Straw
  • Composted manure
  • Bark
  • Compost
  • Buckwheat hulls

Applying mulch

Depending on your size property and how much mulch you plan to lay, it can be hard be work! For a smaller scale project, you can easily purchase a few bags and lay it out. For larger projects you may need to buy in bulk, have it delivered to your home and use a wheelbarrow for loading. Make sure to not dump all the mulch at once or you will end up with too thick of a layer which can be harmful to the plants and limit their growth. Use your hands and a mulch fork to lightly spread to a depth of approximately one inch deep. Remember, the purpose of the mulch is to full in bare spots!

 

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