McCarty Mulch & Stone on the benefits of using mulch for your garden.
Once upon a time, homeowners around the country devoted their time and energy to unbroken lawns. Now, more homeowners are realizing that lawns use more water and create less biodiversity than beautiful, rewarding gardens.
If you’re experimenting with seasonal gardening, growing a flower garden, or cultivating a vegetable patch, you’re probably wondering how to enhance your efforts. If you haven’t already heard, mulching can provide unbeatable benefits that will keep your garden happy and healthy!
Why is mulching such a boon to gardens of any variety or size? We’re glad you asked! As always, it’s our goal to provide you with answers to all of your mulching questions.
Peruse our high-quality mulch and bulk mulch options and keep reading for three ways that mulching will help your garden this summer.
1. Make Your Water Usage Go the Extra Mile
One of the reasons that your lawn requires so much water is that grass and soil aren’t your best options for water retention. When the temperatures rise and daily sunlight increases, you lose a lot of water to evaporation. Plus, without any protective barriers, you may find yourself facing a large amount of water runoff.
Mulch creates a barrier between the elements and your soil. It keeps the heat out, which comes with the added bonus of protecting roots from overheating, and keeps the water in.
In fact, one study found that while gardens that don’t have mulch lose about 80% of rainwater to evaporation, mulched gardens only lose about 10% of rainwater to evaporation. That means that you can rely more on rain and break out the water hose less often!
2. Reduce Erosion and Unwanted Growth While Increasing Root Protection
Adding a layer of mulch to your garden can offer it unparalleled protection. We mentioned water runoff earlier, so let’s start by getting back to water runoff and how it can affect your garden.
Water runoff occurs when water is not absorbed into the ground but instead, pools and moves on the surface. This, in turn, can cause your soil to erode, making a mess out of your garden and exposing vulnerable roots. Mulch helps your garden to absorb water and discourages runoff, which lowers your chances of dealing with erosion.
Mulch also makes the perfect garden topper because while it doesn’t harm growth, it also does not sustain growth. That means that new weeds won’t start popping up in your garden. Plus, weak weeds that took root before mulching will often struggle to break through that layer of mulch and eventually suffocate.
Plus, mulch doesn’t just protect your garden when it’s in full swing. Mulch provides a layer of insulation against the cold winter temperatures, preventing your soil from becoming frozen and compacted. This protects the root systems of your perennials, increasing their ability to come back next spring.
3. Boost Your Soil Health
There are a few ways that using organic mulch (ie wood chips, straw, or grass clippings) can improve the health of your soil.
For starters, mulch gives your layer of compost a fighting chance. Once again, this goes back to stopping water runoff! Laying compost is a great way to breathe life back into your soil, and mulch will make sure that your compost breaks down over the summer, rather than getting washed away.
In addition, organic mulch will start to break down over time, too. In fact, once you start mulching, it isn’t recommended that you remove old layers of mulch to lay new ones. Those older layers become a crucial part of your soil system and removing them can break up soil and damage root systems.
Instead, it’s best to let old layers of mulch break down. During this process, your soil will become enriched with those nutrients! In turn, this will help to discourage your soil from becoming compact and create more space for your root systems to flourish.
Bonus Perk: Mulching Makes Your Garden Look Great
It may not come as a surprise that we’re enthusiastic about mulch. After all, with all of these great benefits, it’s hard to deny that mulch is a great tool that will easily enhance your garden!
On top of all those practical reasons comes a bonus perk: mulching makes your garden look absolutely incredible. Our mulches come in a variety of materials and colors to ensure that you find the perfect match for your garden. In fact, we use natural colorants to dye our mulches so that you can pick from brown, dark brown, black, red, and even golden!
Mulching your garden creates an even, finished look in your yard. Topping off your soil with one single, bold color also allows all those colorful plants (even the fruits and veggies) to truly pop! At the end of the day, mulching gives your yard a professional look that will have your neighbors convinced that you pay top-dollar for landscaping services.