More Mulch, Please!

Jr. Batty, Kaizer, Mary B.  |  12/10/2008 11:18:38 PM

“More pudding, please!” Remember that line from Oliver Twist? Well, for December and the remaining winter season and beyond, your trees and shrubs may be asking “More mulch, please!” Mulch is an important ingredient in any landscape maintenance. Mulching is any material spread over the ground to cover bare soil as a benefit to plants.

As a part of sustainable landscaping, using mulch helps in recycling yard waste, lessons the need for fertilizer, reduces the need for irrigation and the use of herbicides. As the mulch decomposes it returns badly needed organic matter to the soil.

There are many plant benefits from mulch which include:

  • Conserving soil moisture
  • Insulating the soil
  • Preventing crusting and compaction of the soil surface
  • Reducing erosion
  • Adding beauty to landscape

Recommended mulching in bedding areas should be about 1 inch; for shrubs, 2 inches; and for trees, 3-4 inches. However, too much mulch can be trouble. Problems can be caused by piling up mulch. It’s best to mulch wide, rather than deep. As you continue in your fall and early winter clean up, consider adding those yard waste to your trees and shrubs. They’ll be happier plants in the future as you use more mulch.

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