Few things look as good and are as satisfying to the homeowner as a freshly mulched landscape. Mulch does improve curb appeal, but it serves more of a purpose than good looks!
The many benefits of mulch, in addition to aesthetic appeal, include:
1) Moisture retention through the summer
2) Insulation of plant root systems from temperature extremes
3) Weed reduction
4) Addition of organic matter to the soil
5) Reduce soil reduction
Organic mulches are usually composed of hardwood, bark, pine needles, and sometimes soil.
How do you choose the right mulch?
There are many types of mulch. I think mulches can be more easily explained by how they are used as opposed to describing each type separately.
Want to refresh the mulch bed every year?
If you like to refresh the mulch bed every year, consider using a finely shredded hardwood such as our most popular variety, Black Gold. It is all-natural, dark in color, and finely shred making it easy to spread by hand or rake across the bed. Furthermore, the finely shred consistency breaks down over time, adding organic matter to the soil.
Want to go all-natural?
In addition to black gold, there are also pine bark mulches. These mulches are available in different consistencies from very fine to large nuggets. Pine bark mulches add unique texture, have a fantastic pine fragrance when first applied, and add organic matter to the soil as they break-down.
Trying to get more than one year out of a mulch?
Consider Pine Bark Nuggets and Mini Nuggets, Pine Straw, All-bark Cypress A, and Softscapes dyed cypress fiber mulch. Each of these products take more time do break-down. They can easily last two seasons, maybe even three before a replenishing layer is needed! Not to mention, these are some of the lightest mulches by volume and easy to spread by hand.
Is wash-out from heavy rain or blowing away from wind a concern?
Pine Straw, All-bark Cypress A, and Softscapes dyed cypress fiber mulches are not easily washed or blown away.
And how about adding organic matter to the soil?
Yes, it is true all mulches will eventually break down, adding nutrient to the soil. To make nutrient available to plants more quickly, or on a recurring basis, consider using a soil as a mulch. Organic Planting Mix is nutrient rich, consisting of pine fines, composted hardwood, composted manure, and peat moss. Soil Conditioner is another great product for this purpose.
Is it possible there is a mulch that doesn’t fade?
Well, the bad news is that all mulches fade – even the dyed mulches! However, the color retaining properties of our new Softscape Mulch are very impressive. This mulch is made from shredded cypress wood fiber that is dyed. Like all-bark cypress, it is light and spreads well. What sets Softscape Mulch apart from the rest is that it has shown to hold its color extremely well over the course of time!
How much mulch is recommended?
A mulch layer of 2 inches is the recommended amount to maintain. When adding mulch to an existing bed, adjust how much new mulch is added according to how much mulch is present in the bed. Also, be mindful of the plants! Don’t pile mulch around trees and shrubs (volcano mulching) and don’t cover up perennial flowers before they have had emerged from their winter slumber!