Garden & Landscape Tips

Types of Mulch

mulch
Shredded bark mulch
© Asiseeit

Organic or natural mulches, such as shredded bark or wood chips, are the easiest to apply and to work with. For instance, natural mulches improve the quality of the soil and can be worked into the dirt when making new flower beds or transplanting. Inorganic mulches, such as pea gravel, rock or crusted stone, are heavy and difficult to work with. They do nothing to improve the quality of the soil.

Benefits of Mulch

  • Maintain soil moisture. Mulch reduces moisture evaporation from the soil and reduces the need for supplemental watering.
  • Mulch improves soil structure. As the mulch breaks down, trace nutrients and organic matter are added to the soil.
  • Mulch moderates soil temperatures, which protects plant roots from hot and cold temperatures.
  • Mulch helps control and prevent weeds by reducing seed germination and smothering seedlings to keep them from growing.
volano mulch
Never apply mulch in volcanoes around trees.
© Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Besides all the attributes of mulch in general, Preen Mulch with Extended Control Weed Preventer brings added benefits. It is a premium hardwood combined with two pre-emergent herbicides, which keep weeds from sprouting for six months.

Preen Mulch with Extended Control Weed Preventer requires only a 2-inch layer to keep broadleaf weeds and annual grasses from germinating in flowerbeds and around trees and shrubs. The product comes uncolored as Premium Hardwood, and in three colors: Russet Red, Chestnut Brown and Midnight Black. The dyed mulches are guaranteed not to fade for one year. When spreading mulch, keep these points in mind:

  • Don’t apply more than 3 inches of mulch. Thick layers of mulch may encourage roots to develop and grow along the soil surface rather than below.
  • Never allow the mulch to touch the base of plants or the bark of trees and shrubs. When mulch touches trees or shrubs, it keeps the bark moist, which invites insects and disease. When it touches perennials or annuals, it can cause them to rot or rob them of nitrogen, causing them to turn yellow. Keep mulch a couple of inches away from the base of your plants.
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