Mulch Madness

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, a newly planted tree’s best friend is mulch.  But remember, a tree doesn’t want any junk on its trunk.  Especially if that junk is mulch.  Mulching always appears to be a task so straightforward that it’s hard to realize there are some essential techniques and important choices to consider.

For instance, at Stockslagers Garden Center we know it’s tempting to pile mulch high around the trunk of your trees like a volcano.  While it looks pretty cool, it can stress the tree and can cause disease, insect infestation, and superficial roots. 

Below are some common techniques to keep in mind when mulching.

Weed Control – Mulch at about 3 inches in depth prevents most weeds.  Make sure you don’t add it any deeper than 4 inches because the soil and plant roots will not be able to breathe.  

Temperature control – Like a cozy winter coat, mulch acts as an insulator against freezing temperatures during winter keeping your soil protected from the extremes of both winter’s and summer’s heat.  

Moisture control – During the dog days of summer (like now), it’s important that your plants have steady access to water.  Mulching prohibits the sun from drying out the ground and keeps the moisture in the soil longer.

Soil improvement – Depending on the type of mulch you use, a primary benefit of mulching is  soil conditioning.  Many organic types of mulch such as grass clippings and leaves actually serve as enhancements to your soil, promoting better plant and tree growth.  As an added benefit, mulching also reduces soil runoff during heavy rains.

Beauty – Not only does a uniformly mulched yard look incredible, it also has a practical use in keeping walls, stepping stones, other plants and fruits and vegetables clean from mud that splashes up during heavy rains.

Mulching can also be protective to our little ones.  Many homeowners and municipalities are selecting plastic/rubbery mulch to include in children’s play areas.  Stop in or call us at Stockslagers Garden Center to discuss all your mulching questions or needs.  Our specialists have been mulching for so long, they can do it in their sleep.

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