Today here in Lawn Care Pueblo Colorado, we will be talking about mulch. Mulch is basically any organic material that can decay which is spread around of over a plant to enrich or insulate the soil. Benefits of having mulch on your lawn or garden are the following
- it insulates the soil by providing a buffer from heat and cold temperatures
- it retains the water to keep the roots of your grass or plants moist
- it helps keep the weeds out thus making root competition between your grass or plants to be minimized
- it prevents soil compaction
- it reduces lawn mower damage
- plus, it makes your garden or lawn look nice and clean
But if mulch is installed incorrectly, it can also bring a lot of issues that can be avoided in the first place. Here are some mistakes that should be avoided when applying mulch to your lawn or garden.
1. Using the wrong mulch
Please avoid using free mulch as much as possible simply because you do not know where it came from or how was it processed. As an example, the free mulch given by many municipalities are mostly composed of ground up wood. Remember that mulch should have a balance of different organic materials. And since that you don’t know how the free mulch was processed, there could be a chance that it might contain weed seeds, pests and pesticide residue. On the other hand, processed mulch goes through aging period. This process creates high temperature which kills off insects and weeds seeds, which makes it safe and worry free to be used for gardens or lawns.
2. Not mulching
We have listed the benefits of having a fresh layer of mulch on your lawn or garden above. Mulch should be applied annually. So, if you don’t mulch, your lawn or garden will obviously not get the benefits above plus it exposes your lawn or garden to a lot of problems. Below are the effects of not having a fresh layer of mulch on your garden or lawn
- Roots of grass or plants can be damaged by hot or cold temperatures because there is no layer of insulation to them
- Soil can be compacted due to absence of fresh organic matter
- Weeds can grow because there is no buffered layer on top of the soil to stop the weed seeds from growing into the soil
- Since weeds can grow without a fresh layer of mulch on your lawn or garden, plants and grass will have a competition from root growth and nutrients consumption, making them unhealthy
- it exposes your lawn or plants to be a haven for insects and diseases.
3. Making mulch volcanoes
We are talking about piling mulch up against the trunk of a tree or shrub, making it look like a volcano. Immense damage to trees and shrubs is being done every time this is done to them by trapping in the moisture thus making the mulch rot. Once it rots, this makes a gateway for insects and fungi to infect the plant. It is important to keep mulch an inch or two away from the trunks of trees and shrubs.
4. Using too much mulch
Just like a verse of a song “too much love will kill you”, this also applies to mulch as well. Having too much mulch chokes the air out of our plants or grass. This will also lead for the roots of your plants or grass to rot because there is too much water being retained from it. Always keep the thickness of your mulch to 2 inches and remove old layer of mulch.
5. Using little mulch
Having less mulch is almost the same as having no mulch. Weeds will still have a chance to grow and roots of your plants and grass will not be insulated properly. Once again, keep the layer of mulch up to 2 inches. And since that mulch is an organic matter, it will break down over time. Having less amount of mulch means there will be even less in a few months.
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