You’ve likely seen this enhancement right in front of your eyes, yet perhaps never noticed it. It’s an easy, cost efficient enhancement offering a significant impact on protecting your landscape and water bill. The enhancement is mulch. It is a great addition to help your trees and landscape thrive throughout the year. It especially plays a vital role during the hot summer months and during times of drought. So what is mulch and how can adding it improve your property’s landscape?
What is mulch?
Mulch is any type of material – natural or synthetic – serving as a cover and is spread over the surface of soil. It can take many forms including bark, compost, grass clippings, shredded leaves, and straw. Ideally it is economical, easy to apply and remove, stable, supplies organic matter to the soil, and free of weeds, insects, and diseases.
How it can help.
- Creates insulation. Mulch helps reduce water from evaporating off soil thus reducing the need to water plants frequently. It also helps keep plant roots cooler during the hot months.
- Suppresses weeds. Mulch is most effective in minimizing the growth of weeds when thoroughly applied to an area. Areas with low or bare spots are prone to weed growth.
- Improves soil quality. No matter the consistency of the soil you’re dealing with, mulch can help. In sandy soil, it provides nutrients and improves the soil’s ability to hold water. In soil containing clay, it helps break up the clay allowing better air and water movement through the soil.
As Donald A. Rakow noted on Cornell University’s website, “When water droplets land on bare soil, the impact causes soil particles to fly in all directions, resulting in soil crusting and slow water infiltration. Most mulches break the impact of the droplets, reducing soil erosion and crusting and increasing the penetration of water into the soil.”
Where you should use it.
Different types of mulch should be used around different areas on your property. In flower beds, consider using bark mulch to curb weed growth, improve soil quality, and water absorption. Around trees, remove the grass around the trees and replace it with mulch. This minimizes competition from water and nutrients. It again helps keep the roots moist and reduces damage from lawn mowers. Your landscape professional can help identify other areas where mulch can be added to your property.
TCA’s San Francisco Bay Area-based Enhancements Manager, Quinton Guenther sums it up, “Installing bark mulch on your property will instantly add curb appeal making your planter beds look crisp and clean. Additional benefits are water retention, pesticide reduction (less weeds) and help naturally build up the soil quality as the organic material breaks down over time.”
Are you considering adding enhancements to your property this summer or fall? Our experts are happy to meet with you to help with enhancement projects you’re looking to work on. Why not drop us an email so we can help you make your property its best?