Benefits of Organic Mulch. A fresh layer of mulch sure looks nice. It also has several benefits. First and obvious is the aesthetics. Which is what most people are after when spreading new mulch. Lets look at what else it can do for your landscape. The root system of you bushes, trees, and perennials benefits from organic mulch in several ways.
Mulch helps to regulate soil temperature throughout the day. Similar to how a brick house absorbs and slowly dissipates the heat and cold. By regulating the temperature the roots don’t get shocked so much during a hot afternoon sun. To a annual or a perennial this makes a difference.
Another advantage of mulch, especially for young plants, is retaining soil moisture. Bare soil can dry out quickly during a hot and dry day. Roots that are closer to the surface can be effected and succumb to dehydration. Organic mulch insulates the soil from dry weather which pulls moisture out. Mulch itself also holds humidity which helps to insulate the dirt.
Soil composition reaps the benefits of a good organic ground cover. As mulch breaks down it improves the balance of the soil. When it rains mulch does a great job of dissipating the water. This in turn helps to lower soil compaction. The other gain is greatly reducing erosion.
Mulch with an application of a pre-emergent, such as Preen or Snapshot, helps to suppress unwanted weeds. Visit turf products page for more info on lawn and landscape treatments.
Mulch only needs to be roughly 2″-3″ deep. Too much mulch will start to take away the benefits.
Most hardwood mulch is sold in three categories depending on how many times it is processed. Single, double, or triple processed. Double processed being the most popular. It’s a nice compromise of aesthetics, ease to spread, and coverage.
Other ideas would include pine straw and pine nuggets. As a landscaper I recommend creating an accent bed with a different mulch product. For instance, using double processed mulch for most of your beds followed by one of your beds in pine nuggets. It adds a more dynamic appeal to your landscape.