Mulching Mistakes: What Well-Meaning Gardeners Need To Avoid

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mulchingMost people understand that your landscaping can have a huge impact on the value of your home. After all, nearly 90% of real estate agents encourage homeowners to hire landscapers or focus on their green spaces prior to selling their house. Whether you plan on moving on to a new property in the near future or want to stay in your home for as long as possible, proper garden care is key. You might know that mulching is a must for the health of your plants and trees, but do you really know how to use it correctly? For the sake of your garden, you’ll want to avoid making the following mistakes with your mulch.

  • Going overboard or being too stingy

    Using mulch in your garden can regulate the soil’s temperature and moisture levels, prevent weather erosion, add in nutrients, and reduce weed growth. But you need to use the right amount of mulch to provide adequate protection for your plants. Experts recommend your mulch be around three inches in depth for your flower beds. Too much mulch can stress out your plants or trees (or can even kill them). But too little will often do the same, depriving your plants of what they need to survive. Consult your local landscaper for additional information pertaining to your specific soil and regional conditions, if need be.

  • Using free or unreliable mulch

    Yes, you may be tempted by piles of free mulch you see on the side of the road, but you should think twice about putting it in your garden. That mulch could very well contain seeds from weeds, toxins, or even pests like termites. Every gardener should know where their mulch comes from and precisely what’s in it before bringing it home. Any costs you save by opting for free mulch will likely disappear if you have to replace plants or bring in a pest expert. Using a nursery for your mulching needs will provide a better product and peace of mind.

  • Opting for wood chips or stones instead

    Contrary to popular belief, wood chips and stones are no replacement for mulch. While mulch can help to control moisture levels, wood chips usually increase the humidity of your soil, making it more difficult for your flowers and shrubs to grow as they should. And while using stones can make your garden look visually pleasing, they won’t help your plants. Since rocks gather heat, this can throw your garden all out of whack and cause plants to become stressed. Mulching, in contrast, will help regulate soil temperature. If you do want to use rocks, consider lining your flower beds with them or creating a dedicated space for them instead.

You may think of mulch as a decorative element (and one you may not be particularly pleased about, in some cases), but it’s actually vital for the health of your plants. If you aren’t sure what kind of mulch would work best for your garden, contact the experts at your local nursery.

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