The Pros & Cons Of Using Mulch

Tammy Emineth

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Mulching is when you cover the soil around the plants and vegetables that you are growing. This is used to boost the natural process and help with growth while suppressing various weeds. It is popular in the gardening world with also of information out there on how to incorporate mulching into your garden system. Mulching can be done in many different ways. You can use organic matter like woodchip or straw or you can use sheet mulches like cardboard or permeable black plastic.

The Pros & Cons Of Using Mulch

Pros

Mulching can prevent weed growth and retain moisture for your plants which can be very helpful in the hot summer months. Mulching can also reduce soil erosion and insulate your crops in extreme temperatures. Organic mulch can rot down and then it will provide soil nutrients for your plants. It also can be used to prevent your crops from rotting because it lifts them off the ground.

Cons

Mulch can attract a home for pests but you can minimize this with other gardening practices. Organic mulch will need to be applied in a loose square to prevent from nitrogen being taken from your plant's soil. When you use organic mulch it needs to be thick, it is important to use about 1-3 inches around the plants because it will rot down.

How To Decide On A Mulch?

Avid gardeners love using mulch, but there are so many out there that it can be hard to decide what is right for you. Let's take a look.

Leaves

Leaves are great to use as mulch as long as they have been shredded with a mower. You want to make sure they are dry and crumbly. Pile them up and let them decompose before you use them. If they are damp and not shredded they will mat together and rot.

Grass

The grass is a great idea because it will add nitrogen to your soil. You need to make sure it is dried before you apply it to your garden to prevent matting and rot. Grass will break down quickly. If your lawn is chemically treated, do not use these clippings for your garden.

Pine Needles

Pine needles are awesome! They are a great weed suppressor and they will stay in place well for you. They break down slowly and will increase acidity for your plants. Be careful because they can be very prickly as you work with them.

Straw

The straw will be long-lasting for you. The straw will give you good coverage. Be careful in your use because straw can be prone to having weed seeds which can cause you more problems with your garden.

Compost

Compost is great for your plants. It will enrich your soil quickly because it breaks down quickly.

Shredded Bark

Shredded bark is a great choice because it is inexpensive and widely available. Shredded bark breaks down quickly and is a sustainable wood industry byproduct. Shredded bark can deplete the nitrogen from your soil as it decomposes.

Wood Chips

Wood chips are great and can be found for free from local arborists. Wood chips can be acidic so be careful when you use them.

Pine Bark

Pine bark is long-lasting and will give you great weed suppression.

In Conclusion

Mulch is an important feature of your landscaping but in some climates, you must remove the mulch previously laid before adding more so you don't smother the ground and plants. Check with your local zoning on the best mulch for your landscaping.

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I am a former real estate agent turned content marketer. I love to write about real estate, blog about home improvement and optimize real estate and other business websites for our customers. SEO Tips, real estate advice and more.

Frenchtown, MT
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