Planting a garden and leaving it to its own devices will generally result in chaos. But, with some careful planning and a little tender loving care, just about anyone can create a garden that looks great and yields the results they desire. Not all plants will thrive in all locations, but in general, if plantings are chosen wisely, cared for and right for the area, they should do well. But, whatever you do, don’t forget the mulch.
Mulch is simply organic matter that covers the top layer of soil in a garden. Just like the pine needle and leafy covering of a forest floor, mulch helps create a moisture barrier that keeps the soil wet and protected. It also serves several other purposes that make it vital for just about every type of garden setting.
There are several compelling reasons why mulching should be done in flower beds and even vegetable and herb gardens. Trees, too, can really benefit from proper mulching. Here’s why you should consider mulching your garden:
* Weed control. Mulch is a great way to help stop a well weeded garden from accumulating more weeds. A good mulch layer blocks weeds from seeding in your garden beds. The deeper the mulch layer, too, the better it is for stopping seeds already present in the soil from sprouting. It’s hard for sunlight to penetrate a good mulch layer. A tip for helping block weeds with mulch is to layer a garden bed with newspaper before adding more decorative mulch material. The plants placed in the bed will grow, but weeds that find there way there on their own, shouldn’t.
* Water conservation. Mulch helps stop water from evaporating out of the soil. Since it blocks the soil from the direct rays of the sun, it’s ideal for this purpose. Plus, it also helps improve soil condition during its natural decomposition process.
* Soil temperature. A good mulch layer will help maintain a more constant soil temperature. This is great for helping to ensure plants stay firmly rooted in all kinds of weather.
* Aesthetics. Mulch is a great way to level out and improve the appearance of a garden. It looks great, especially in the wood chip brands, while serving more utilitarian purposes.
When planting a flower bed or even a full garden, it’s a good idea to add mulch. Do find out if the plants you intend to use have a particular dislike for mulch or come with specific instructions, such as not mulching tightly around tree trunks, but beyond that, the additive is one that shouldn’t be forgotten in most garden situations.