The Importance of Mulching in the Garden
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The Importance of Mulching in the Garden

Mulching is an important aspect of gardening. What type of mulch you decide to use could depend on how much you are willing to spend.

Whether you’re a vegetable, a flower gardener, or both; you will want to decide if, how, and when to mulch your garden. There is no denying the many benefits to adding mulch around your plants.

1. Why is mulching important?

Mulching is important for many reasons. It makes the garden look a lot cleaner, helps to keep weeds under control, and helps to maintain more even moisture content in the soil. Also, as the mulch decomposes, you will get the benefit of the organic material that will help to add nutrients to the soil.

2. What Type of Mulch Should You Use?

There are many choices for a gardener when it comes to mulching. A mulch that is free for the taking, and is available to almost everyone can be found in your yard. Many people use grass clippings. You need to use a little caution when applying grass clippings. Many gardeners will wait until the clippings have dried out. Using the fresh green clippings will produce heat, and if you pile them on too thick can cause root damage, and disease to your garden plants.

You can also purchase many types of mulch at your garden center. Some people prefer to put wood chips around their flowers. Wood chips add interest to your landscape. They also take a much longer time to decompose. If you use them in your vegetable garden, you may find that you will need to rake the garden in the spring before you till or cultivate your soil.

There are also straws and hay that you can be used in the garden as mulching material. These types of mulch are sold in bales. Hay might be a type of mulch that you would choose to use in the vegetable garden, or you might decide to use pine straw around both flowers and vegetables. In many parts of the country pine straw is used because of its aesthetic appeal in the garden and flower beds.

3. Mulching Helps to Conserve Moisture

When you use mulch around your plants they will grow much better, and more than likely will not need to be watered as much. This is one of the biggest advantages to mulching your garden. Mulching will certainly save on the water bill. When it rains the mulch will also keep mud from splashing up on your plants. Mulch does the same for your house.  Often homeowners choose to have flower beds that are located adjacent to the home. If you don’t place mulch in the beds next to the house, you can end up with a stain on the house that is hard to remove.

4. Mulching will Save You a Lot of Work

Mulching just makes the task of gardening a lot easier. You will do much less weeding and watering. This can save you literally hours of work a week. You’ll be glad that you mulched your vegetable and flower gardens.

5. Inorganic mulches

There are products that you can put down that will not decompose. You can put plastic down as a weed barrier. Many gardeners will use plastic, especially in the spring, to help with getting seedlings to grow. The plastic will help to hold heat in the ground to facilitate germination of seeds, and it is one of the most effective materials to keep weeds from growing in your garden.

Gravel and stone are also other good inorganic choices when it comes to mulch. It’s interesting to see the different kinds of mulch that is used in different parts of the country. For example: the Midwest and Southern parts of the country predominately use organic mulches, while the West and Southwest parts of the country use stone and gravel.

There are mulching materials to suit all tastes of gardeners. Whatever you decide will be beneficial to your garden, and many types of mulches will also help to make your yard beautiful.

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