At Willow Gates Landscaping, we have several types of mulch, all with varying characteristics from one another. While each of type of mulch has its own drawbacks, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages by far. To help you understand the importance of mulching and choose the most suitable type for your garden, here’s a look at the different kinds of mulch as well as the benefits and drawbacks of using each type.
Mulching helps to:
• Ensure the soil retains moisture
• Regulate the temperature of soil
• Enhance drainage and reduce the occurrence of mud
• Improve the quality of soil
• Control weed growth
Each of the benefits listed above will have a positive impact on the appearance of your garden.
This type of mulch is extremely effective, especially when spread on top of annual flower beds and vegetable gardens. Aside from regulating soil temperatures, improving the drainage of soil and discouraging weed growth, compost mulch also helps to retain moisture and return nutrients to the soil.
Shredded wood mulch
Compared to the other types, mulch made from shredded wood lasts longer without needing to be changed. When the spread is less than six inches thick, this kind of mulch lets air and moisture penetrate the soil, which helps to control weed growth. Apart from costing less than wood chips and shredded bark, sawdust usually forms a crust when wet. As such, sawdust mulch is much more effective when installed over a layer of compost. But when used as mulch, shredded wood utilizes elevated levels of nitrogen. As a result, you may have to apply nitrogen fertilizer.
Because it’s known to provide excellent insulation, straw mulch can help insulate tender plants during the wintry weather. Compared to the other types of mulch, straw mulch decomposes and returns nutrients to the soil at a much higher rate. Although it is easy to apply, the rate of decomposition means you’ll have to replace this type of mulch regularly.
Peat moss mulch
Though peat moss mulch is excellent for controlling weed growth, the spread needs to be around 2-3 inches thick for optimal performance. A layer that’s 2-3 inches is known to form a hard crust, one that prevents evaporation and helps the soil to retain moisture. On the other hand, aside from being relatively expensive, peat moss mulch is also susceptible to strong winds.
Leaf and grass clippings
Like wood mulch, leaf and grass mulch is also inexpensive. In addition to returning nutrients to the soil, shredded leaves are known to feed beneficial earthworms. However, if you have used any weed killing product on the grass, it’s wise not to use the clippings from the first three mowings at the very least. Additionally, finely shredded leaves can form a mat that might keep the soil from absorbing moisture.
To choose the best-suited type of mulch for your garden, you’ll want to analyze your personal and landscaping requirements. Though applying mulch will help to improve the aesthetic value of your yard, it can magnify the qualities of your landscape further when used alongside stones and gravel. Such installations work by contrasting and complementing the hues and shades of the landscape.