Mulch – What is it and why is it important to you?
Mulch is a topping put over the soil in shrub beds to keep roots cool and discourage weed growth. It also keeps soil moist longer and makes shrub beds easier to maintain. If you have dogs, it’s really a lot better than mud and dirt.
Wood mulch is available in various sizes and colors. People have their own preferences for sizes, types and textures as well as color. The finer mulches are generally more effective as they provide a more solid coverage. Some believe they blow around more, so if you are using bark mulch in a windy setting, you may want to go with a larger type.
Wood mulches do not need fabric underneath and you shouldn’t put fabric underneath. The mulch seems to blow away faster if placed on fabric.
Advantages to wood mulch
- Wood mulch hides a lot of leaves etc. that fall into it.
- It is also easier to plant new plants as you don’t have to pull up fabric.
Disadvantages to wood mulch
- It will blow away in windy areas.
- Most types of wood mulch will lose their color and need to be topped every few years.
You need to put landscape fabric under rock mulch to keep a separation between the rock and the soil. Many people believe the rock mulch is very low maintenance, but when weed seeds blow in and germinate in the dirt that gets in between rocks over the years, it can get very difficult to deal with. It’s wise to have a good blower if you have rock mulched beds.
Advantages of rock mulch
- Rock mulch doesn’t blow away and it doesn’t need to be refreshed very often.
Disadvantages of rock mulch
- It’s more difficult for roots to breathe.
- Rock shows everything that falls in to it. (Such as leaves that fall into it in the fall.)
- If you want to add plants later, you have to remove rock and cut the fabric.
- It’s hard to keep clean and when you do get weeds, it tough to clean it up.
- Brutal to weed if you need to.
Mulch conserves moisture, reduces weed growth, and enhances the visual appeal of any locations. No matter which mulch you choose, it is a great addition to any landscape.