Doubtless you have heard the word “mulch” before in landscaping and gardening contexts, but what exactly is it? Simply put, mulch is any type of material that goes over top of soil in a garden. It can be manure, compost, or a compilation of any natural ingredients like shorn leaves or grass. Mulching equipment turns things like unsightly brush or unwanted tree stumps into usable mulch for your landscaping needs.
The pitfall to using compost or manure as mulch is the acrid smell produced by these materials. The mulch churned out in most mulching equipment does not retain a pungent odor but still affords the same benefits. In addition to creating an aesthetically pleasant look for your garden, mulch prevents annoying weeds from sprouting up and helps create a barrier against moisture dissipation, allowing the soil to stay moist for longer periods of time. Mulch from mulching equipment also protects soil from erosion due to the elements, ensuring that the soil doesn’t wash away in heavy rains or blow away in windier conditions.
Different types of mulch work well in different situations, so your landscaper can often help you find the perfect mulch for your garden. Some store-bought mulch is dyed for the sake of looks, but this can be damaging to the environment if the dye being used is not organic. The mulch that comes from mulching equipment is coming directly from vegetation that is already on your property so you know that it will be dye-free and safe to use in your landscaping.
Some landscapers prefer to use inorganic mulch, which can be made of plastic sheets or gravel. Some people prefer synthetic mulches because they are a tougher barrier against weeds; however they do little to complement the garden. Organic mulches, like those that are produced by mulching equipment, decompose and thereby fertilize the soil, helping plants grow big and healthy. Inorganic materials will never decompose, so they will not supplement the soil in the same way as organic mulch.
Mulching is an easy process that can benefit your garden immensely. Before mulching, be sure to saturate the soil with water; the mulch will help the soil retain this moisture. When you are ready to spread the mulch that comes out of your mulching equipment, spread out a layer that is between two and four inches thick. Mixing mulch in with the top soil is never a good idea as this can prevent plants from growing properly, so only spread mulch on top of the soil. The mulch from your mulching equipment is often coarse, which is better for your garden as it prevents the weeds that spring up between plants. If you are using organic mulch, you will need to re-mulch from time to time as the mulch decomposes and fertilizes the soil. Keep an eye on your garden to determine when you need to re-mulch. One pleasant effect of mulching for a sustained period of time is that the longer you mulch an area, the less frequently it will need to be re-mulched.
Buying bags of mulch can get expensive, and storing it can be messy and annoying. Mulching equipment can provide you with ample mulch for all of your landscaping projects. As long as you have tree stumps and brush to grind, you will have the mulch to make your garden healthy and beautiful.
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