Along with warm sunshine and the return of baseball, fresh mulch is a sure sign of spring. The clean look that it gives plant beds and the sharp contrast it offers to make bright blooms explode with color are undeniable. In addition to adding visual appeal, mulch contributes to the health of your landscape in several ways.
When applied properly, mulch can have the following benefits:
- It helps retain soil moisture
- It reduces weed growth
- It helps the soil maintain a more even temperature throughout the year
- It helps prevent soil erosion
- It prevents crusting of soil surfaces to improve water absorption
- It protects tree and shrub trunks from lawn equipment damage
- It encourages the expansion of root systems
To make sure mulch is able to do its job, however, it’s important to apply it correctly. Mulch should be applied to new plants as soon as they’re installed. Mulch should not be piled up against trunks and stems of trees and shrubs – especially newer plantings. When finished, a newly mulched bed should be no more than 4″ deep.