Mulching is one of the best things that you can do for your garden, regardless if it is flowers or veggies. Some mulching is to add color and beauty to your landscaping. There are different mulches and a few to avoid for different reasons.
Two Basic Types of Mulches are organic and inorganic.
Organics: breaks down quickly so will need replaced regularly
- 1. Leaves-shredded or whole
- 2. Grass clippings (use the mulching feature on your lawnmower)
- 3. Straw
- 4. Hay
- 5. Newspaper- shredded or in sheets, (Earthworms are attracted to newspaper).
- 6. Hulls of cocoa beans, rice, and cotton
- 7. Peanut and other nut shells
- 8. Barks, shredded wood, wood chips, walnut bark, sawdust-are great for decorating
- 9. Homemade compost
In-organics: used mostly for decoration they can cause overheating and change soil PH levels.
- 1. Rocks-can be costly for large areas
- 2. Gravel
- 3. Plastic sheets under rocks or plastic shredding
Reasons to Mulch: mulch flower or garden beds, trees, and potted plants
- 1. Keep weeds from growing
- 2. Decoration
- 3. Prevents soil erosion
- 4. Conserves water
- 5. Protects Roots( from heat, cold and drought)
- 6. Organic mulch breaks down into beneficial nutrients that will improve the soil.
Things to Avoid
- 1. Limestone rocks-it changes the soil PH
- 2. Potted plants will rot if the mulch is around the plant stem so leave one inch of space around the stem.
- 3. Hay is great but can have seeds in it and will grow in your garden.
- 4. Newspapers need to use soy or vegetable based ink, black ink no colored ink.
- 5. Rubber is toxic to plants and soil.
- 6. Do not use dead diseased plants for mulching it will spread the disease to other plants, use dead healthy plants.
- 7. Barks, wood, wood chips, sawdust, etc. can cause the PH of the soil to be unbalanced and will starve the plants.
- 8. Use about 4-inches or mulch and if using organic replace it as it breaks down.
- 9. Use a mulch that will not have to be changed due to weather change some mulches create heat so you do not want to use them during the heat of the summer. (such as plastics)
Where to Buy or Get Mulches
- 1. Local home improvement stores
- 2. Local Flower Nurseries
- 3. City Public Works Departments-where I live in Riverside, CA they have free mulch to residents you just need to bring your own containers or truck to haul it.
- 4. Some cement and brick companies will have rocks and gravel for sale.
Before you start mulching, consider the reason you want to use mulch and what you want to accomplish by mulching. Mulches for decorating will be different from the mulches used for water conservation and if you will have plants. Overall mulching is a great idea!
Garden Guides.com- http://www.gardenguides.com/118713-ideas-landscaping-mulch.html
E How.com- http://www.ehow.com/way_5135017_garden-mulch-ideas.html
Dex Knows, Home Improvements- http://www.dexknows.com/local/home_improvement/guides_and_videos/garden-mulch-ideas-6944/