The Ins and Outs of Mulching: Why and When?

The weather is turning cool and many plants are going dormant. That does not mean that your landscape should be neglected. There are certain basics you can take care of now that will make your landscape more lovely in the spring. One of these is mulch.

A Short Explanation

Mulch is a general term for any type of ground covering for soil. Bark, compost, shredded rubber and pine needles are used as mulch. Landscapers and organic gardeners praise it for having many benefits for the plants and soil. It can also be used as a decorative element, with dark colors providing contrast to the bright flowers or green shoots.

Why Mulch 

There are a number of reasons to add mulch, especially with the fall weather on us. Landscapers love mulch because it blocks sunlight from reaching weeds, keeps soil at an even temperature, and helps retain water. Using organic material such as pine needles or compost as mulch has the added benefit of slowly feeding plants. With fewer weeds to contend with in the spring and more nutrients in the soil, your plants will look particularly verdant in your landscape.

Freshening up the mulch now can help improve the soil for the spring plantings, and it can insulate any perennial plants from the snow as it goes dormant.

When To Mulch

It is really common to lay down a few inches of mulch when you first add a plant. Tucking a nice blanket of pine needles around a new transplant will keep it warm and suppress any weeds that want to take advantage of the freshly tilled soil. Freshening the mulch late in fall will help keep the benefits coming.

If you are looking for ways to improve your landscape this fall, look into installing some mulch. It has various benefits (including the ones listed above), and it will provide contrast that will catch your consumer’s eye.