Mulch comes in two forms: organic (hardwood chips, pine straw, grass clippings, crushed leaves, shredded tree bark, etc) and inorganic (pebbles, crushed rock, plastic, rubber chips, etc). Through the diverse properties offered by these two options, there are many benefits that mulch can provide your garden. Here are 6 of those benefits:
1. Despite the storms we get in the summer, it’s known that Calgary is a very dry climate and can experience extended periods of drought. Mulch helps to retain the moisture in the soil, which limits unnecessary evaporation and reduces the amount of irrigation needed. Mulch will also help to not disrupt plant growth during periods of drought by retaining moisture in the soil.
2. Mulch moderates soil temperature and encourages more diversity in the soil biology. In the spring, mulch will keep soil temp steady, and prevent heaving from the freeze and thaw patterns common in that season.
3. Organic mulch will break down over time and add nutrients to the soil. This is extremely beneficial when soil health and fertility is poor.
4. We all know that plants can’t grow without sunlight, and this obviously includes weeds. The mulch goes around your plants that are tall enough to peek above that 2-3” layer, meaning they have access to the sunlight while anything below the mulch layer is smothered and unable to grow. Mulch also prevents the weed’s seeds from reaching the soil and doesn’t give them a chance to germinate.
5. Some aromatic types of mulch – including cedar, cypress, and pinewood – not only give off an earthy and comforting scent, but they also help ward off unwanted pests including fleas, gnats, and ticks.
6. By adding mulch to your garden, you add a layer of protection from mechanical damage that comes from a mower or a weed eater. Yes, this damage can often be avoided, but why not take additional precautions when it comes to a delicate garden?
Now you’re convinced that mulch is a great addition to a garden that provides many benefits to your plants, let’s talk about how the phrase “too much of a good thing” runs true in this particular situation. Excessive mulch can start to hold in too much moisture, which will lead to root and trunk rot. Additionally, heaps of mulch can be an attractive place to slugs and rodents to build their homes. Mulching properly can be tricky business, but we’re here to help. Give us a shout with your mulching ideas, and we are happy to give you a no-obligation quote on the project!
Inspiration Taken From:
Calgary Herald. (2013). Too Mulch of a Good Thing. Retrieved from Calgary Herald: https://calgaryherald.com/life/homes/too-mulch-of-a-good-thing
Patterson, S. (n.d.). Mulch For The Garden. Retrieved from Gardening Know How: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/mulch/benefits-of-using-mulch.htm?fbclid=IwAR0OU9YJBzIHFBGbMyZ-H5VGpGOj9fQU1MqeQv8ZuBVbvJAJq-UEzQsO5dU
Plants Galore. (2019). Pros and Cons of Mulch in The Landscape. Retrieved from Plants Galore: http://www.plantsgalore.com/care/maintenance/maintenance-mulch-pro-con.htm