Using Mulch to Enhance the Health of a Garden Bed

Soil Photo by Kyle Ellefson on Unsplash

Brendan Wetzel is an established Bucks County, Pennsylvania entrepreneur who leads the Yardley Landscaping and Paving Company and provides comprehensive services, ranging from lawn aeration to deck building. One area in which Brendan Wetzel has extensive experience is in bed plantings and maintenance.

A critical aspect of keeping plants healthy involves the regular placement of mulch. In addition to fending off weeds, mulch serves to deflect sunlight during the hot summer months, which ensures maximum ground moisture retention and keeps the soil cool. In the winter, mulch functions as a heat-retaining blanket that protects and insulates vulnerable roots.

Organic mulches also add nutrients to the soil as they decompose over time. For this reason, they should be regularly replenished. One common approach is to add a layer of 2 to 3 inches every couple of years, as well as between a half-inch and an inch as a topcoat each spring.

With a proper amount of mulch in place, take care to aim water at the plant roots, rather than the breadth of the mulch bed. This will help to prevent excessive bacterial and fungal growth. After extremely heavy rains, take time to fluff up the mulch with a rake or hoe, which will allow it to dry out.

Tips on Applying Mulch to Your Flower Beds

Preserving the beauty and health of gardens and flower beds is much easier if one knows how to apply mulch. It’s an easy and inexpensive venture that any homeowner would enjoy engaging in. Mulching not only aids in jazzing up the yard; it likewise helps in moderating soil temperature, retaining soil moisture, and suppressing weed growth. Here then are some advice for those planning to mulch their flowerbeds.

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Firstly, decide on whether you prefer organic or inorganic mulch, as each has its own advantages and best conditions for use. An organic mulch is made up of shredded wood products that can vary in quality and consistency. You can opt for leaf compost, pine needles, or grass clipping for mulch. These break down over time and gives nutrients that enrich the soil. Apply organic mulches at least once a year.

On the other hand, an inorganic mulch is comprised of recycled rubber and stone products. Stones and rubber come in great variety and reduced problems with insects in and around the flower beds. But make sure to choose plants that are better adapted to this, and let the mulch surround them; don’t put the mulch directly on the plants. These mulches are likewise applied annually.

Both types of mulches should be applied 2 to 4 inches thick. If the mulch is too thinly applied, it won’t properly retain moisture nor suppress weed growth. Mulch tends to settle over time as it decomposes, so apply another inch more as a final thickness. Finally, it’s best to apply mulch in the early spring, just as your perennial flowers are beginning to grow.

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Brendan Wetzel is a dean’s list philosophy student at Rider University. He was a recipient of the Dean’s Scholarship, Leadership Scholarship, and the Guy Stroh Philosophy Scholarship. He is President of Phi Sigma Tau, the International Honor Society of Philosophy. For more on Brendan’s interests, click here.