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Mulching 101

3rd Jun 2016

MulchMulching, it seems easy enough, but what many people fail to realize is that there is more to it than just simply spreading a layer of material. You not only need to choose the correct mulch for your application, but you also need to make sure you install and care for your mulch properly. Here are Kurtz Bros., Inc.’s top tips and tricks for mulching.

  • 1.Choose the Right Mulch
    • From organic, to inorganic, to dyed, applying the correct mulch to your flower and garden beds is crucial.
    • If you are looking for mulch that will add nutrients back into your soil then Organic Mulch is the perfect choice. Made from wood, bark or compost these mulches will break down over time, enriching your soil with the essential nutrients it needs to grow healthy plants and flowers.
    • Dyed (or colored) mulches are a widely popular choice across the region. Made from reclaimed pallet and hardwood that’s been shredded and color enhanced, dyed mulches hold their color longer than traditional bark or hardwood mulch.
    • Inorganic or stone mulches do not provide any nutritional improvement to the soil but are meant to be more of a permanent mulch. They are the lowest maintenance option but unfortunately are not as easy to plant or garden in.
  • 2.Know When to Mulch
    • The best time to mulch is in the mid-late spring when soil is still moist and warming up from the winter freeze. But your plants are not picky. They will welcome mulch at any time.
    • Mulching in the fall right after the ground freezes is a sure fire way to protect your plants and soil from harsh winter conditions.
  • 3.How to Apply
    • Pull weeds and remove any debris from beds. If you are re-mulching this season, make sure you rake and remove some of the build up of older mulch.
    • Apply pre-emergent to the beds before mulch to help reduce weed growth. We recommend Treflan or a similar product.
    • Cover the entire surface of your beds including the border. Do not leave any soil bare as it will not only decrease water retention but also leaves your soils susceptible to erosion.
    • About a 2-3 inch depth is recommended for beds. Do not go much thicker or it will encourage local wildlife to nest. Also avoid putting too much mulch around tree trunks and shrubs as it attracts pests as well.
  • 4.Did you know Mulch...
    • Helps suppress weed growth.
    • Reduces moisture loss from soil and moderates temperatures.
    • Isn’t just for flower beds. You can use organic mulch in your gardens as well to protect your plants from the harsh heat and the rough winter weather.
    • Prevents soil compaction.
    • When used on gardens, mulch encourages earthworm habitation. Earthworms help improve soil structure by replenishing nutrients.