Mulch – Mulching and it’s Effects

Mulch – Mulching and it’s Effects

Posted by Jonathan Manning, CLT - B.S. Horticulture, Colorado State University in Hand Weeding

Mulch – Mulching and it’s Effects

By:Jonathan Manning, CLT
A Better Garden Maintenance, LLC
Denver, CO

Mulch can be divided into two categories; Inorganic and organic mulch. Rocks, or rubber chips would be consider to be inorganic mulch. Bark chips, western shredded cedar, Idaho Shredded Cedar, Metro Mulch (colored recycled chips) and any other form of mulch which biodegrades would be considered organic mulch. Both sources have a positive effect on plants & soil.

Mulches allow water to be dispersed or more has a dampening effect. Rainfall or any water causes compaction as it hits open ground. Mulch allows a cushion and protects the soil structure from compaction or crusting. Both organic and inorganic mulch allows water to be retained in the soil and heat to be moderated. This will reduce the amount of water which needs to be supplemented.

Not only do mulches affect water and soil temperature, but they have a direct effect on your garden. Mulches cover up and help prevent germination of weed seeds. It also allows for easier weeding as the increased water retention makes it easier to get the whole root structure.

The choice of which mulch you utilize is up to you. You need to decide whether you want to see white rocks, dark shredded cedar, large bark chips or even a brightly colored red mulch. The benefits of inorganic mulch is it does not decompose. This means you will not have to top dress, unless you just want to add some fresh color. But at the same time, if the mulch does not decompose, organic matter is not added to the soil profile.

Organic mulch is lost throughout the season from decompostion. This is a great benefit to any garden as organic matter increases the water retention capacity of the soil. With natural mulch, the garden will need to be topdressed regularly to ensure the benefits are being received. Be careful, the addition of more than about 4 inches of mulch can actually cause disease, absorb the water, and even not allow air to the roots.

Just remember, we provide all gardening and mulching services. Contact us today and we can get a gardener out to provide cleanup, pruning, weeding or mulching services. We hope this help you have A Better Garden.

02 Feb 2009 no comments

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