The Easy Way To Level Up Your Yard Every Year

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If you enjoy spending time in your yard and garden, you have probably asked yourself if mulch is necessary. The simple answer to this question is yes! People spend countless hours in their yards and around garden beds trying to help their plants grow. Like lawn mowing or fertilizing, mulch installation is a crucial and easy step to take if you want a beautiful yard with healthy plants.

Benefits Of Mulch For Your Yard

Mulch benefits both the appearance and health of your yard. Nothing can improve the curb appeal of your property quite like a good mulch. There are several different types of wood-based mulches and inorganic mulches, which come in a variety of colors and textures, to help you carry out whatever vision you have of the perfect landscape. Aside from the aesthetic benefits, the main functions of mulch are to protect plants and help provide nutrients to your grass and all throughout your yard. 

The natural soil throughout your lawn, in vegetable gardens, and in flower beds is what feeds your grass and plants. Soil contains the nutrients that your plants need to survive, and installing mulch is a great way to preserve those nutrients that will result in a greener, livelier overall yard. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits your yard receives from mulch installation.

  • Curb Appeal: Installing mulch within tree rings, around bushes, and in gardens will make your lawn and other greenery burst to life. Even if you do not have a garden or any plants other than the grass in your lawn, incorporating mulch beds creates an eye-catching contrast that will surely be the envy of the neighborhood. 
  • Added Nutrients: Organic, premium mulch is most beloved for its nutritional benefits. Unlike artificial mulch, organic mulch decomposes slowly throughout the growing season. As mulch decomposes, it actually introduces additional nutrients into the soil, which your lawn and plants can then absorb and utilize for better growth.
  • Weed Prevention: Exposed soil is exactly what weed seeds are looking for in order to germinate and grow. Installing mulch prevents weeds from growing by blocking out sunlight they need to survive and protecting your soil from seeds that blow in and hope to find a place to take root.
  • Moisture Retention: Mulch acts almost like a sponge when it rains or when you water a garden bed. Water can evaporate quickly from bare soil, but the mulch will retain moisture and allow your plants to absorb more water for longer periods of time.
  • Erosion Protection: Wind, rain, and muddy runoff can quickly erode your soil and make your landscape lose many of its defining edges and features. Mulch will help gardens and flower beds hold their shape against the harmful effects of the elements.
  • Temperature Regulation: Another important function of mulch is regulating soil temperature. In the colder months of fall and winter, soil insulation is important to the health of your plants. Mulch insulates your garden beds to keep your soil warm and protected from the harmful effects of cold weather.

Different Mulch Options

There are many factors to consider when picking out the perfect mulch. Many people choose organic mulches for the added health benefits they provide to your soil, but artificial mulches have their own unique benefits that you will not get from the natural variety. Consider the differences between the following mulch options when determining which best suits your needs.

Organic Mulch

Organic mulches come in a variety of styles and are composed entirely of natural materials. Hardwood mulch is the most popular type of mulch, but there are other varieties that differ slightly in composition. Organic mulches are the way to go if you are interested in maximizing health benefits to your soil.

  • Hardwood varieties are made from any type of hardwood from trees. It decomposes quickly and adds the most nutrients to your soil. 
  • Bark mulch is made from shavings or pieces of bark, such as pine bark mulch or cedar mulch. It is long-lasting and can be replaced more infrequently than hardwood mulch. 
  • Other organic matter is often used for mulching needs as well, such as grass clippings, pine straw, and more.  

Dyed Mulch

Aside from choosing between the health benefits of bark mulch and hardwood mulch, you can also have a variety of colors in your yard. Dyed mulch is very popular because of the added color it provides your yard. Red mulch gives gardens or flower beds a great contrast to the surrounding plants, but brown and black mulch can make your yard look unique and still maintain a more natural appearance.

Inorganic Mulch

If you choose artificial mulch, you can give your yard a very distinct look and still be able to provide a few health benefits. Popular forms of artificial/inorganic mulches are rubber chips and rocks. These styles provide a unique look that is sure to improve your yard's curb appeal. While wood chips are better at retaining moisture, some forms of rubber mulch can still help your garden bed conserve water.

Though artificial mulches will not decompose or add nutrients to the soil, they can still help prevent weeds as effectively as organic mulch. Perhaps the best benefit of inorganic mulch is the low maintenance. Because artificial mulch does not decompose, it lasts much longer than any form of organic matter. Artificial mulch is also much easier to keep within the boundaries of your garden beds, meaning less work for you.

When & Where To Install Mulch

Mulch should be reapplied annually, and the best time to install mulch is typically in spring. Depending on the style of mulch and the environment of your yard, inorganic mulches may only need to be reapplied every few years. Applying mulch in the springtime before weeds begin to emerge is the best way to keep weeds from destroying your plants.

Spring mulch installation should typically include manual edging and mulching at a depth of 1-2 inches. Tree rings and garden beds should be treated with great care to keep the mulch away from the base of tree trunks and the crown of shrubs to ensure healthy plant growth. In fall, it is advisable to touch up the areas worked on during spring mulch installation. Below are some of the best areas to add mulch:

  • Gardens
  • Flower Beds
  • Along Pathways
  • Around Trees
  • On Slopes
  • In Weed-infested Areas

Quick Mulch Delivery & Installation

We want to make the mulching process as easy as possible. When you call Summit Lawns, we will walk you through your options and help you decide which mulch is best for your yard. Once you have picked out the style you want, mulch delivery and installation services are all part of the package. Mulch is one of the most easy and cost-effective ways to improve your property, so give us a call today for a better yard!