Mulching is a simple, effective way to protect soil and encourage plant growth. Proper mulch materials and application improve any gardens health as well as it appearance.
Mulch not only aesthetically enhances garden beds, it also improves the health and nutrition of both soil and plants. A layer of mulching material conserves moisture and enhances soil. It also keeps the ground cool in summer, and protects plants from cold, winter weather. Weed control and erosion protection are other benefits that make the garden maintenance easier.
Mulching material can be either organic or inorganic. Organic materials are better suited for planting beds than most inorganic choices since their decomposition adds nutrients and encourages a soil building process. Some of the more organic mulches include wood chips, bark and pine needles. Lawn clippings and even crop by products such as ground corncobs and hulls from buckwheat or cocoa beans are also choice covers.
A layer of mulch about two- three inches thick should be applied in the spring after the ground is thawed. A thick layer of pine boughs, straw or other light and less-dense material will prevent ground heaving and protect roots from erratic frosts and thaws through season changes.
Mulch is an efficient and chemical-free method of water conservation and fertilizer. It can also provide a neat, clean look to your garden beds.