Since Curt and I (well recently, mostly Curt due to my travel) are mulching the trees in the park right now, I thought I’d share some information about mulch. This outline of the benefits of mulch is taken from an article that I recently wrote for the Kent County Daily Times.
Many people mulch their trees and garden beds because it looks nicer than dirt. But it has a variety of other benefits as well.
Prevents weed growth. Mulch keeps weed seeds from germinating because it blocks their source of sunlight. Mulching garden beds and trees typically results in a dramatic reduction in time spent weeding and reduces dependency on herbicides.
Aids in moisture retention. Because it slows water evaporation, mulch helps the soil beneath it retain water and reduces time spent watering.
Provides nutrients. As it decays, mulch provides plants with much needed nutrients and organic matter, which decreases the need to use synthetic fertilizers.
Shields from equipment damage. The trunks and surface roots of trees and shrubs are vulnerable to damage from lawn care equipment such as mowers and weed trimmers. Properly-applied mulch creates a protective barrier that keeps lawn equipment well away from tree and shrub trunks.
Maintains optimum soil temperature. Mulch helps soil maintain consistent soil temperatures. It evens out temperature swings due to variable weather conditions, helping soil retain more heat in cool seasons and lowering the temperature in the summer.
Protects soil. Mulch protects soil from rain damage by eliminating soil compaction by rain droplets and preventing soil erosion.
Tomorrow I’ll write about the different types of mulch that are available.
Photo of mulched garden bed courtesy of Colorado State University / Denver County Cooperative Extension.