Mixing different mulch types is an effective method for growing a healthy garden. Various mulches perform different functions in a garden. Its basic purpose is to supply a layer of protection for the topsoil. It is also used to design ornamental paths, to suppress weeds, and to provide plant culture.
Straw mulch, leaves, and paper mulch have organic properties to help a garden thrive. Grass clippings and pine needles are also useful. Avoid using green grass clippings and make sure straw doesn’t have weed seeds in it.
These are some helpful mulch ingredients:
- Straw is a heat insulator that keeps the soil warm. It is a bed barrier that deters infection. Reducing slug activity that damages plants, it provides for good water penetration.
- Paper rot, such as newspaper, adds to the soil. It suppresses weeds by blocking light and holding moisture for the soil.
- Cardboard prevents weeds by stopping light penetration to the weed seeds. When it breaks down and nourishes the soil it attracts earthworms. Earthworms consume insects that could harm your plants.
- Leaves provide organic matter for the garden. A leaf mold creates a spongy and absorbent composition.
- Pine needles are good to use with acid soils. They supply dark brown soil and fine texture. While protecting the fragile root system of the plant, they stop moisture from evaporating.
Combine organic mulches for your garden's best results.
- Grinding up leaves and pine needles creates fine mulch. This is a great way to obtain the benefits of both of these mulches.
- Cedar hearts and chips, plus sawdust are ground down and packaged as mulch. This combination is good for retaining moisture, eliminating weeds, and repelling insects. Use this around flowers and shrubs.
- Newspaper layers can be topped with dried grass clippings, shredded straw or shredded leaves.
Combining organic and inorganic mulch is also beneficial.
- Anchor fabric mulch with a combination of bark chips and pine needles.
Mulch for Landscaping Beds
Landscaping beds are typically made of permanent plants, perennial and annual flowers. Trees and shrubs are permanent plants. While perennial flowers bloom year after year, annuals need to be dug up after each blooming season.
- When mulching trees and shrubs, use rock and landscape fabric mulch. Pulling the fabric close around the bottom of the trunk is perfect weed control. Put the rocks on top of the fabric. The rocks don’t compact so water can easily penetrate to the soil.
- Flowerbeds can be successfully mulched with a layer of newspaper and wood chips. This will suppress weeds and both mulches will decompose, adding organic matter.
Mixing mulch will give your garden and lansdscaping long lasting health and vibrancy.