Who is your landscape and garden plants best friend? Mulch. Not only does it make your yard look amazing, it provides numerous benefits to the plants and soil.
According to an article Mulch – Plants’ “Best Friend”, in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and University of Florida.
Mulch helps to protect plants’ roots from extreme heat and cold by creating a buffer between the soil and the air. Mulch also helps to hold water in the soil for longer, giving the soil time to absorb the water. This helps to avoid excessive watering of plants, which saves water and money.
Mulch contains organic components, and the decomposition of these components adds nutrients to the soil. These nutrients benefit the soil aeration, structure, and drainage. The healthier soil helps lead to healthier plant growth.
Mulch can be used in flower beds and garden, but also for walkways, paths, underneath playground equipment, and outdoor spaces. Mulch is also good for areas in the yard where plants and grass are difficult to grow. But there are important guidelines when it comes to using mulch properly.
Using Mulch Wisely. It is important to maintain a 2-3-inch layer around trees, shrubs, and plant beds. If you let the mulch get too low, you risk exposure to erosion and damage to your plants. If you add too much mulch, the mulch can get in the way of water absorption from rain and irrigation. “Volcano mulching” occurs when mulch is piled too high against the base of a tree, causing moisture to become trapped and encouraging rot in the tree trunk. Mulch piled too high also allows small rodents the opportunity to create habitats; these rodents will then chew the bark of the tree and eventually kill the tree. It is important that the mulched area around a tree has at least an 8-foot diameter to provide cover and nutrients to root systems that extend beyond the drip line