When it comes to property maintenance, homeowners tend to have two main objectives: promoting a healthy lawn & garden and keeping the weeds out.
Regular tasks such as weeding and watering put a strain on your knees and back after a certain amount of time. This can set back a homeowner’s ability to keep up with the job, and this is where mulch comes in.
Introducing mulch to your garden and landscaping is a more sustainable practice that decreases the amount of energy and water required to keep a garden healthy and weed-free.
Mulch has several types and benefits, the highlights of which will be discussed in this edition of our Ottawa tree and landscape blog.
The Different Types of Mulch
In its simplest definition, mulch is considered to be anything that covers the soil’s surface.
There are many different types of mulch, but most of them can be categorized into two groups: Organic and Inorganic.
Organic mulches are composed of natural products such as leaves, trees, and grass. Since they are all-natural, they decompose quicker than inorganic mulch and must be replenished occasionally.
The most common types of organic mulch are:
- shredded bark and leaves
- grass clippings
- pine needles.
Make sure that none of these materials have any pesticides or inorganic fertilizers because they can alter the course of natural decomposition.
Inorganic mulch is made up of stones, rubber chips, and other non-natural materials.
This type of mulch will still obstruct weed growth and moisture loss but will not improve soil conditions or add any helpful nutrients. Some inorganic mulches are:
- Black plastic mulch
- Silver plastic mulch
- Crushed gravel, stone, or marble
- Landscape fabric
Other factors to also consider when purchasing mulch for your yard are price, colour, availability, and ease of application. There is a wide range of colours and textures available, so choose which ones will match your garden’s aesthetic.
Benefits of Using Mulch in Your Yard
Are your back and knees aching from constantly pulling out weeds and watering your garden?
Adding mulch to your garden offers several great benefits, two of which are preventing weeds from growing and preserving moisture in the soil. Weeds are intrusive and take away water, nutrients, and sunlight from your other plants. Adding a couple of inches of mulch on top of the soil will prevent weeds from growing since they need direct sunlight to sprout.
The mulch also acts as a physical barrier that stops the growth of weeds and some types of mulches attract crickets and carabid beetles that feed on weeds. The nutrients that were taken away from the weeds will be replenished by the organic mulch, which releases its own nutrients into the soil.
Mulch also helps reduce the amount of moisture that evaporates from the soil. However, it’s important not to add too much mulch, as it will prevent oxygen from reaching the plants.
The addition of mulch to your garden will help regulate the temperature of the soil so that plants and trees don’t suffer from too high or too low temperatures. This offers protection against the harsh winters of Ottawa. Trees and lawn will thank you for adding mulch!
How Mulching Helps the Environment
Mulching isn’t only beneficial for your garden; it is great for the environment as well.
As mentioned above, mulch reduces water loss from the soil, which means that you don’t need to water your garden as frequently. There is less evaporation of water, so the soil is able to absorb all it needs, leading to less water waste.
Mulch also prevents soil splashing, which not only stops soil erosion but keeps soil-borne diseases from reaching the plants and trees.
Get the Arborist & Landscaping Services You Need in Ottawa
Keeping your lawn and garden beautiful and weed-free shouldn’t be a challenging and painful task!
Our Ottawa arborists at Croft Tree Experts are here to make sure all your garden bed mulching is taken care of and that your plants and trees have the best conditions to grow.
Contact us today to get a free quote and ensure that you’re getting the best care for your property.