Mulch is an attractive feature for any garden. It helps prevent pesky weeds and can be beneficial for your plants. However, it's important to know what mulch will be most beneficial for the plants you have in your garden. Choosing the wrong mulch could harm your plants.
Mulches That Allow For Drainage
The first step to selecting a mulch is knowing what types of mulch will work best with your landscape. Drainage is one of the main factors in mulch selection. Stone-based mulch tends to be the best for drainage. Plants like succulents and roses both enjoy excellent drainage. If these plants have mulch that retains too much water, they could rot. Stone allows the water to pass through more readily than plant-based mulches.
You should avoid stone if your plants have sensitive roots or are very heat sensitive. Stone can reflect heat and warm the ground too much for some plants.
Mulches That Allow For Moisture Retention
The opposite end of the spectrum from stone mulches are plant-based mulches. Plant-based mulches are excellent for moisture retention and weed control and are tolerated by most plants. These mulches could be anything from the standard wood chip, grass clippings, or plant hulls. Using a newspaper or landscape fabric layer before adding your mulch will provide the most weed protection in your landscape.
You only want to apply mulch in layers that are no more than 2 to 4 inches in depth. Be sure not to compress the mulch layer as your garden benefits more from loosely applied mulch. If you have pets, you will want to avoid cocoa hull mulch as it is toxic to your pets.
Being Aware Of pH Changes
Being aware of pH changes is another key factor in selecting the best mulch for your plants. As different types of mulches break down, some of them can alter the pH of your soil. Often these are organic mulches such as grass clippings, straw, and limestone. Plant clippings, manure, and compost, in particular, can release a large amount of nitrogen as they break down and could cause nitrogen burns to your plants. Due to this, you always want to keep your mulch in a separate area.
If you're having trouble identifying what mulch may suit your needs, you should reach out to a landscaper that offers residential mulch services. They will be able to recommend what types of mulch would work well for your landscape and get it installed quickly.