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The Importance of Mulching Your Landscaping

Mulching is the process of applying a layer (typically 2-3inches thick) of some external material over the soil surface. Depending on their composition, mulches can be divided into two basic categories – organic mulches and inorganic mulches.

As the name implies, organic mulches are derived from living materials including tree leaves, bark chips, wheat or paddy straw, grass clippings, sawdust, compost, and rice hulls. These materials decompose naturally over time. Inorganic mulches are composed of non-living materials such as plastic sheeting, landscape fabric, rocks or gravel, non-compacted Decomposed Granite, and rubber. Unlike their organic counterparts, inorganic mulches do not decompose or break down naturally. They may initially cost more than organic mulches, but save money in the long run as they do not have to be reapplied or topped off as frequently. Landscapers in Santa Rosa typically use the most situationally suitable mulches to suppress weed or for aesthetic reasons. Here are some benefits to mulching your landscape.

Mulch Provides Nutrients

As it breaks down, organic mulch provides nutrients that plants and flowers need to grow – albeit in small amounts. Organic mulches break down over time, which releases nutrients that contribute to soil health. Mulching insulates your soil, locking in moisture and nutrients. In the absence of mulch, the beating sun draws moisture through evaporation from your soil, pulling water out of it.

Inhibits Weeds

Weeds can ruin your garden. They look unsightly and compete with flowers and plants for nutrients, sunlight, and water. Mulch can help prevent weeds in multiple ways. Like plants, weeds need sunlight to grow and mulch helps create a barrier between sunlight and weeds, limiting the amount of sunlight they receive. Weeds may try to fight through, but most varieties won’t succeed if the layer of mulch is thick enough. A thick layer will also smother existing weeds. So, how thick is thick enough? To smother weeds and retain moisture, the layer of mulch should be between 2 and 3 inches. When applying your mulch always keep it away from the base of plants to prevent crown rot.

Helps Prevent Soil Erosion

Materials used in mulch do not only help the soil retain moisture and other essential nutrients, but they can also prevent or stop soil erosion by breaking up rainwater drops. Mulch also acts as a barrier, conserving and protecting the soil. During rains, mulch protects against rainwater washing away your soil.

Enhances Aesthetic Appeal

A layer of mulch can work wonders for your yard. Mulch can lend your yard a clean look. It is often used to fill in empty spaces in landscapes. It needs significantly less maintenance than many popular fillers such as groundcovers and grass. A light mulch will lend your landscape a sharp, natural look, whereas a dark mulch will bring out the colors of your plants and flowers, transforming your yard into the landscape of your dreams.

Protecting Ground Nesting Pollinators

Ground nesting bees are fantastic native pollinating insects. Experts recommend leaving approx. 5% of planned mulched areas bare for these beneficials.

Gardenworks is a renowned landscaping company in Santa Rosa that helps homeowners transform their backyard into an oasis. Whether you want to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your landscape or improve its functionality, we can help. To make an appointment, call (707) 857-2050.


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