Mulching is wonderful for your garden, protecting plants and soil, and bringing a polished aesthetic value to your property. Mulching as a chore can feel overwhelming, and it can take a lot of thought and time to do well. Mulching can be a complicated process and that’s why you should think about hiring professionals to do it correctly and here are the reasons why:
- The optimal time to mulch. Depending on the climate and geography of the area mulching needs to be done at different times of the year. Mulching before winter can protect your delicate flowers from the harsher elements. Mulching in the spring will help your garden look on point as flowers bloom and keep weeds at bay. We can help determine when the best time of year is to mulch your garden. Since mulch can settle, break down, and erode, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your levels and refresh your mulch throughout the season, as needed.
- The best material for your mulch. Choosing a mulch is perhaps the most challenging part of the entire process, but it is absolutely worth it to select the right material for your climate and soil.
Organic materials like wood chips, pine straw, hay, or bark enrich the soil, preserve moisture, and prevent erosion. Because organic mulches do hold moisture, in relatively moist climates, an inorganic mulch may work better to keep the soil from oversaturating, which invites pests and rot.
Inorganic mulches include shredded tires and rocks. They do not improve the soil, but they tend to stay put, not log the soil with moisture, and they do not attract pests.
As far as colors of mulch, darker colored mulches hold heat and tend to work well in colder climates. Lighter colored mulches reflect light, and can cause surrounding plants to get quite hot. In addition to color, we make sure to keep p.h. levels of soil in mind as certain soil types will thrive with more acidic mulches and others will prefer the mulch be more alkaline.
- Pull weeds. Just as mulch is good for your flowers, it will also provide nutrients for your weeds, should they be there, and cause them to grow out of control. We make sure to prevent wild weed growth by carefully removing all the weeds from the entire area before laying any mulch down.
- Lay a protective barrier between the mulch and the ground. To keep additional weeds from choking your flowers we use a biodegradable protective liner like newspaper as protection. There are other materials that can be used as barriers, as well. There are varying professional opinions on landscape barriers, but keep in mind that four inches of mulch will work just as effectively as most weed barriers.
- Lay down between two and four inches of mulch. Many DIY mulchers forget that mulch will settle, erode, and break down so we make sure there’s enough mulch to cover your flower beds. Since mulch is measured in cubic feet, it can be difficult to determine the cubic feet of mulch you’ll need so a landscaping company will have the correct formula and be able to figure that out easily.
Mulching is certainly a process, but your garden will look great and be healthier as a result. Heffner Landscaping is glad to do a consultation to check your soil levels, as well as help you select, prep, and lay just the right mulch for your garden. Contact us today!