Many of us have spent quite a bit of time over the last few weeks outdoors getting landscapes back under control after the dark cold winter months. After a few visits to the local gardening center, you have chosen some new plants, trimmed emerging shrubs and bushes and fertilized everything in preparation for a new growing season. As you admire your hard work and pat yourself on the back for your efforts, you see the WEEDS! How is it possible that you spend so much time weeding and yet, they keep coming back?! The one thing that may be missing from your landscape efforts is mulch!
Mulch is an important addition to your home’s landscaped areas. Not only does it “complete” the look for better curb appeal, it offers protection to the soil and plants from heat and drought and maybe most importantly, works as a blanket to help keep weeds under control which is not only a win for your time, but also your leg and back muscles!
There are several different kinds of mulch you can choose from depending on your vision or what you already have in place. You should first decide if you want to use organic or inorganic material. Organic mulch will decompose over time adding nutrients to the soil which will create a balanced environment for earthworms and other beneficial organisms to thrive. Organic options include pine or hardwood bark, pine needles, shredded cedar, shredded leaves or grass clippings. Because these options are natural and decompose, you will need to add to them at least seasonally or more often to keep a good covering over your beds.
Inorganic mulch will not decompose over time so it requires less maintenance but it will also not add any nutrients to the soil or assist in aeration. It is a great option for those areas that you may not want to maintain regularly or where there are erosion or drainage issues. Inorganic options include pea gravel, lava or river rocks and rubber chips. Based on the size of the chips or rocks used, you may need to put down a layer of plastic or landscape fabric first for complete weed control if using any of these materials.
Regardless of what type of mulch you choose, adding this final landscape element will certainly help improve the growth of your plants, the curb appeal of your home and the health of your back!
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Jarod Tanksley 615.403.8265
Brentview Realty 615.373.2814