Benefits of Mulching
When it comes to mulching your garden, there’s really no downside! And with a wide range of mulching options to choose from, you can personalize the look of your gardens while giving your plants all the benefits that mulching can provide, including:
- Reduced and/or Weaker Weed Growth: A thick layer of mulch creates a barrier between the soil and any stray weed seeds that may find their way into your garden. This not only discourages weeds from germinating in the first place, any that do start to sprout will have to navigate their way through that thick layer of mulch, producing a weak and scraggily stem that is super easy to remove.
- Helps Retain Moisture: A thick layer of mulch protects your gardens from the hot sun by blocking in the soil’s moisture. This means there will be less water evaporating from your gardens, and you won’t have to water your beds quite as often. Just remember that when you water, you’ll need to water very deeply to get through that layer of mulch before reaching the soil.
- Helps Regulate Soil Temperature: Mulch keeps the temperature of the soil (and therefore your plants’ roots) at a more consistent temperature. During the summer heat, a thick layer of mulch can help keep roots cooler, which is especially important for plants like clematis!
- Controls Soil Erosion: Does the soil in your beds slowly wash away during summer rains? Keeping a layer of mulch on top is a great way to keep soil in the garden where you want it.
- Enriches Soil with Nutrients: Natural organic mulches like bark, grass clippings, or cedar slowly decompose over time, replenishing the nutrients in your soil.
- Mulch is attractive! Mulch is a great way to neaten up a garden and make it more eye-catching. With a great range of colour and texture options, there’s something for every garden.
So you’ve decided to mulch your gardens, but what are your options? There are lots of possibilities, each with its own benefits and drawbacks:
Cedar Mulch is natural, enriches your soil over time, and also discourages weed growth.
Pebbles or Stone are great for drainage, look neat and tidy, and rarely need to be replaced.
However, there is very little nutritional benefit for your soil.
Grass Clippings or Leaves are free and often readily available in your yard. They decay quickly
and enrich the soil, but need to be replenished often and may not be considered attractive.
Straw is light, cheap, and easy to apply, but allows sunlight to filter through so it’s not as
effective against weed growth as other mulch options.
Newsprint blocks out sunlight completely, making it very effective against weed growth, plus
it’s excellent at absorbing and retaining moisture. While it’s a bit unsightly, a top dressing of
decorative mulch can easily neaten it up.
Pine Bark is large and doesn’t decay quickly, but it’s fairly acidic and will affect the pH of your soil.
No matter what you choose, you can be sure that mulching your garden is the right choice. So why not try mulching your gardens this season?