type of mulch, mulching, lawn care, landscaping, gardens, organic, inorganicDo you want a healthy landscape or garden? Add mulch. Mulch is essential to retain moisture, reduce or eliminate weed growth, maintain soil temperature, and more. Whether you’re mulching for the first time or it’s an annual routine, your success depends on choosing the right type of mulch for your specific needs. 

What is Mulch?

Mulch is any kind of material placed on top of the soil to enrich and insulate it, control weeds, and provide an attractive base for plants. Each type of mulch offers different benefits. When chosen and applied correctly, it can help reduce time spent maintaining your landscape or garden. 

Mulch Types

Mulch falls into two categories, organic and inorganic.

Organic mulch is any material that decomposes over time. You’ll need to replenish this mulch regularly. Organic mulch is a favorite among gardeners because when it breaks down, it enhances fertility, aeration, and drainage for the soil.

Inorganic mulch doesn’t decompose or contribute to the soil. This kind of mulch is used mainly to control weeds. However, they do provide a decorative element to your landscape that can also warm the soil for early planting since they tend to retain heat. 

How to Choose the Right Type of Mulch

The purpose of mulch is to protect your plants’ roots, prevent soil erosion, support water retention, repel insects, and protect the plants during temperature extremes. 

  • The best type of mulch for flower beds is bark or stone. Both materials will enhance your curb appeal, help control weeds, and provided the necessary protection from the winter freeze and summer heat. 
  • Vegetable gardens benefit significantly from using compost as mulching. It will add extra nutrients to your soil, yielding healthier crops as well as repurposing scraps from your home.
  • Did you know your lawn could benefit from mulch? Use your grass clippings after mowing to help put nutrients back into the yard. Use this sparingly. Don’t mulch with clippings if your lawn contains a high population of weeds. You could spread those weeds back into your grass. 
  • Pine needles, straw, and leaves are a great option around walkways. Some plants thrive in a more acidic environment which pine needles provide. Straw can help reflect some sunlight, which helps to control the temperature. Leaves are readily available if in any an area where they’re plentiful. Plus, they’re very cost-effective and excellent for use around walkways. 

Ask the Professionals

Consult the professionals at Nichols Reliable Lawn Care & More for expert advice on the type of mulch you need to achieve the look and results you desire. 479.502.2192

Next time, we’ll cover why it’s important to mulch in the fall. Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send it right to your email.