Mulch is a layer of material that is put on top of the soil to protect your plants and the soil it grows in. There are many benefits to using mulch in your plant or vegetable garden including:
- Improve your soil’s nutrient health
- Add or retain moisture
- Help regulate the soil’s temperature
- Prevent weeds growing in your garden
- Discourage pests from invading your garden
- Add to the aesthetic look of your garden
Mulch is made of organic or inorganic materials. Organic mulches include grass clippings, wood chips, tree bark, shredded leaves, compost, hay, straw, and newspaper sheets.
Inorganic mulches are synthetic products like plastic, landscape fabric, rocks, and gravel. Each type has its pro’s and cons.
How Much to Mulch?
The price varies depending on the type of mulch you use, where you buy your mulch, and how much you will need. Mulch is sold in basic economy mulch, high end, and decorative brands.
Purchased mulch can come in bags, truckloads, or rolls. If you are buying from a soil company, the price for a load of mulch can range between $15 to $60 per yard plus delivery and unloading fees. Bagged mulch can range in price from $3 to $10 per bag, depending on the type of mulch you buy.
Synthetic mulch prices also vary depending on size of roll and thickness of plastic or landscape fabric. On average, rolls of synthetic mulch cost approximately $10 to $20 per 100 yards.
Free mulch can be found around your home. These include dried leaves, grass clippings, compost, and newspaper. For the savvy gardener, old tree branches or discarded Christmas trees can also be chopped and used as mulch.
To find out how much mulch you will need, calculate size of your garden and depth of layer you will be applying with the type of mulch you will be using.
For synthetic mulches, cover the garden with one sheet of plastic or fabric. If you are using organic mulch, it is recommended that you apply 5 cm (2in) of mulch in shady areas and 10 cm (4 in) in sunny areas.
When to Mulch
Mulching is best done after the soil has warmed up and there is no longer a risk of frost. For best results, mulching your garden should be done in mid to late spring.
How to Mulch Around Trees
When adding mulch around trees or shrubs, you should spread it 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12in) from the base of your tree. If your mulch is too close to the base, the moisture could rot the wood and attract mice, voles, and other pests.
Choosing the right type of mulch for your garden can be confusing. At JHC Landscaping Services Inc., we are experts in mulch application. Our expert landscapers can help you will all your mulch application needs you so you can enjoy a beautiful weed and pest free garden.