When it comes to your garden beds, mulch is a must if you want to keep your plants looking healthy. Essentially, mulch is a protective barrier put on top of the soil and around your plants. When it comes to picking the type of mulch for your garden, there are a range of varieties to choose from depending on the look you’re after, your budget and what’s best for your plants. Why exactly should you use mulch? From weed control and moisture retention right through to pest control and soil stability, there are a range of benefits to mulching that we’ve explained below.
For a weed to grow, it needs some form of sunlight. You can use mulch as a barrier to cover your soil, stopping any sunlight from getting through and limiting the amount of weeds that sprout. While different types of mulch work better than others, this is generally the rule of thumb.
Moisture retention is vital if you want to make sure your plants are getting enough water and absorbing nutrients. Organic varieties of mulch like bark and pine absorb water, while non-organic varieties like stones and gravel cover the soil and limit evaporation.
Prevent soil erosion
If you don’t want your soil to wash away every time it rains, then you’re going to want to mulch your garden. Not only does mulch keep in the moisture, but it traps your soil, limiting the impact of falling water and stopping erosion.
The natural oils found in certain types of mulch—like cedar bark—can be used to deter any unwanted creepy crawlies. If you want to keep pests out of your garden beds, use more fragrant mulch varieties as these get the best results.
As well as all these functional benefits, a good batch of mulch can turn a tired garden into something more fresh and healthy looking. Each mulch has it’s own unique benefits, so choose carefully. Whether you prefer the smooth river rock or a more natural looking pine bark, it’s up to you!
Main types of mulch
– Grass clippings
– Pebble mulch/gravel
– Rock mulch
– Straw mulch
– Grass clippings
– Garden/black plastic
– Shredded rubber
– Wood or bark chips
– Decaying leaves
– Peat moss
Talk to your local landscaping expert about which mulch best suits your needs.