Mulching

mulchingMulching is applying a ground cover to planted areas as part of ongoing maintenance and conservation management. Mulch is a gardener’s best friend. There is no other gardening task that provides as much payback as mulching.

Objectives of Mulching are:
1) Insulate soil from extreme temperature (hot and cold) changes thus maintaining uniform soil temperatures
2) To protect the soil from structural damage that results from winter freezing
3) Conserving soil moisture by reducing losses thru evaporation
4) Keeps soil moist therefore making nutrients more available to plants
5) Reduces soil compaction
6) Prevents crusting of soil surface thus improving absorption and percolation of water into the soil
7) Reduces and minimizes soil erosion caused by rain and wind
8) Discourages the germination and growth of weeds by blocking sunlight; easier removal of weeds
9) Decaying mulch may also provide a source of organic matter for the soil aiding in improving soil structure and tilth.
10)Makes plants less susceptible to soil-bourne fungal disease
11)Aesthetically improve or augment the landscape by providing cover of uniform colour, interesting textural components to the surface and gives a neater and more finished appearance. Improves curb appeal and sellability of home.

Mulches Available are:
Mulches can be divided into two basic categories of organic and inorganic. Organic materials are composed of plant or animal residues and decompose over time. Inorganic mulches are natural or man-made materials that do not readily decompose. Inorganic mulches may be gravel, crushed stone or some manufactured product. These materials are not as beneficial to plants as the organic mulches because they do not improve the structure or nutrient content of the soil.

pruningOrganic mulches available are: bark chunks, coarse bark mulch, cocoa shells, compost, eastern cedar, peat moss, pine and bark nuggets, pine bark, pine needles, red cedar mulch, shredded bark, shredded pine mulch, bark mulch, straw, utility bark mulch, composted leaves, composted yard waste, composted pine mulch, shredded cedar mulch, shredded red cedar mulch, shredded golden cedar mulch, red enviro-mulch, enhanced black bark mulch, hardwood chip mulch, natural enviro-mulch and landscapers cedar mulch.

Inorganic mulches available are: black plastic film, crushed rock, gravel, lava rock, pea gravel, pebbles, rock mulch, stone/chips, volcanic rocks, ground or shredded tires, rubberized mulches, river-wash stones, white stones, marble stones, granite stones, river rocks, clear stone, fiber weave, playground fibertop, playground cedar weave, and playground stone.

Mulching should be done in late spring when annuals and perennials are visible yet small enough to work around; when a new flowerbed is installed or a new tree is planted. Mulching can be done at any time throughout the season but preferable in the spring to benefit the flowerbed throughout the season. Mulching in the fall is important to protect perennials for over-wintering. Layer the mulch over bare soil around plants and level out evenly. Mulch should be at least 5cms. thick and preferable 10cms. thick to be effective. Because organic mulches breakdown over time and build soil they need to be replenished when necessary. Contact Harmony Gardens Landscaping for delivery of mulches for the do-it-yourselfer or for our team to provide mulching of your flowerbeds.

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Summary
Mulching
Article Name
Mulching
Description
Mulching is applying a ground cover to planted areas as part of ongoing maintenance and conservation management. Mulch is a gardener’s best friend. There is no other gardening task that provides as much payback as mulching.
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