Whether for gardening or landscaping, few materials are as beneficial as mulch, be it for improving the general aesthetic or soil quality. Not only is it easy to apply, but it also saves you on cost and time. Whether you’re planning a home garden or improving a commercial landscape, you need to apply enough mulch to ensure the healthiness of your soil and plants.
Types of Mulch
Mulch is any material spread or laid at the soil surface in your garden or landscape. There are usually two types of mulch, organic and inorganic mulch.
Widely considered the best alternative, organic mulch is a natural and biodegradable material that later decomposes and adds nutrients to the soil. Some organic mulches include woodchips, straw, wood chips, leaves, newspaper, grass clippings, and barks.
Inorganic or synthetic mulches are non-biodegradable materials that are long-lasting and can prevent the growth of weeds. Since they don’t decompose, they don’t add any nutritional value to the soil or plants. These synthetic mulches include black plastic, stone/gravel, and landscape fabric.
How Does Mulch Benefit Your Garden?
Both organic and inorganic mulches provide certain benefits to your garden, depending on the soil type or your needs. Some of these benefits include:
Mulch acts as an insulating barrier to the soil and prevents soil moisture from escaping through evaporation. Mulch holds the moisture when you water, reducing the number of times and amount of water needed to water the plants. This, in turn, helps developing plants grow faster, and the established ones become drought tolerant.
Moderates Soil Temperature
Many of the plant’s roots responsible for most of the nutrients absorbed are found a few inches beneath the soil surface. These feeder roots perform optimally when not subjected to excessive or freezing temperatures. Mulch acts as a barrier preventing the soil from being directly exposed to heat from the sun or overnight frost that could cause temperature shifts, damage, or kill feeder roots.
Fresh mulch provides an appealing look to your gardens and improves the landscape’s quality.
Buffer the Soil from Runoff and Erosion
Mulch also acts as a buffer against direct sunlight that would create the crust. Exposing the soil to direct heat and sunlight can cause a crust at the soil surface, preventing water from infiltrating. This can lead to rain or irrigation water flowing over land carrying particles of the topsoil, excess fertilizer, and chemicals. Crusted soil is also susceptible to wind erosion.
Prevent Weed Germination and Growth
Mulch prevents weeds from taking root in your garden by blocking seeds blown by the wind from reaching the soil. They also suffocate the ones that have reached the soil by preventing sunlight from reaching them and ensuring they don’t germinate. The ones that germinate are smothered and are unlikely to be established.
Suppresses Soil-borne Diseases
Soil-borne pathogens can be transferred from the soil to the lower foliage of the plants through water splashing from the soil to the leaves when raining or irrigating. Mulch acts as a cushion preventing water from splashing and reducing the risk of plant diseases.
Adds Nutrients and Organic Materials
Over time, organic mulch decomposes and feeds the soil nutrients, which would, in turn, be used by the plants. This is one significant advantage of organic mulch over inorganic mulch.
Reduces Landfill Waste
Much of the materials used for mulch would have otherwise ended up in the landfill. Using this material as mulch reduces wastage and improves the environment.
Contact Atlantic Waste Group for Mulch Delivery
Looking for mulch delivery? Atlantic Waste Group can deliver mulch to your chosen location whenever you need it. We can spread the mulch to the perfect layer as well.
We offer fast and convenient mulch delivery services for customers throughout Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Prince George’s, Montgomery, Howard, and Carroll County. To place an order, contact us today via our website or call our team directly at 410-768-4720.