Ground cover such as mulch, rocks, and pine straw can greatly enhance your landscape. However, many homeowners have trouble deciding whether mulch, pine straw, or rock is best for their landscaped beds’ health and beauty. If you have found yourself debating over your ground cover, look no further: high-quality organic mulch made from wood or shredded bark is a great option. Keep reading to learn about the many benefits of installing mulch.
Top 9 Benefits of Installing Mulch
1. Moisture Retention
Living in the south, our landscapes are subject to intense temperatures that can wreak havoc on our plants. With the Carolina heat in areas like Pageland, Lancaster, and Monroe, and Kershaw reaching temperatures up to 100 degrees or higher, moisture can quickly evaporate from your soil. This results in your plants being deprived of the moisture they require for survival. Mulch is the perfect option to avoid dry, withering plants. It acts as an insulator and keeps this moisture in the soil longer, therefore preserving the water your plants need to remain healthy and hydrated.
2. Weed Control
Nothing is worse than pesky weeds taking over your beautifully landscaped beds. Lawn care specialists control weed growth by depriving weeds of the elements they need to survive. Most importantly, weeds need sunlight to germinate and grow. By adding a mulch layer, you block the sunlight weeds need, stunt their growth, and prevent them from overtaking the landscaped beds you invested time and money in.
3. Nutrient Release
One of the most beneficial effects of mulch is its nutritional benefits to your plants. If you opt for an organic mulch, it releases nutrient-rich organic matter into your soil that will promote growth and benefit your plants for years to come. These nutrients also attract earthworms, which add additional nutrients to the soil, clear debris, and improve drainage, leading to even further improved plant health.
4. Reduction in Temperature Fluctuations
In southern towns like Pageland, Jefferson, and Monroe, we experience yearly average daily temperature fluctuations of around 50 degrees. Fluctuating temperatures can have harmful effects on your plants, decreasing their chance of survival from year to year. A mulch layer keeps your soil cooler during the summer months and acts as an insulator in the winter months. This greatly lessens the damaging effects of temperature fluctuation on your plants.
5. Plant Disease Prevention
At some point, we’ve all had a diseased plant, and having to remove and replace them can be a hassle. Plant disease often occurs due to issues such as improper pest control, leading to dying plants. When disease takes over trees, removal can be even more time-consuming and expensive. Mulch, however, can decrease the likelihood of disease taking over your healthy, beautiful plants. Its dense makeup prevents harmful soil fungi from reaching the plant’s stems and foliage. As a result, you will have healthier plants and a thriving landscape.
6. Improved Curb Appeal
Mulch creates a clean and well-manicured appearance for your home. Since landscaping is one of the first things people see when they visit your home, it can greatly impact their first impression. There are many different occasions where mulch can improve this impression:
- Installing mulch can increase the chances of selling your on-the-market home.
- Mulch can give outdoor birthday parties, Super Bowl parties, anniversary parties an improved atmosphere by creating a clean and detailed landscape.
- The last thing you want is for a messy landscape to distract from your beautifully decorated home during the Christmas season. Mulch installation can enhance your decor to create the perfect look.
Once installed, mulch requires very little maintenance: it does not need to be mowed like grass or fluffed like pine straw. Additionally, after its first application, mulch only needs to be touched up once or twice a year by a landscaping professional. This allows for less stress on you and your wallet.
8. Cost Efficiency
Since mulch only has to be touched up once or twice a year, this reduces the replacement cost to you. In addition, since it makes it more difficult for weeds to grow, you will not spend as much money on herbicides to keep the weeds at bay. Your mulch will do the job for you.
9. Can be applied any time of year
One large benefit of mulch is that it can be installed any time of year. You can apply it in the spring, summer, fall, or winter. This is beneficial in situations like:
- The spring when you are looking to re-vamp your landscape after a long winter
- The summer when you want to retain moisture in your plants
- The fall when you feel your landscape needs revival after fallen leaves make it look chaotic
- The winter when you decorate your home for Christmas
No matter the season, mulch can improve your landscape’s look.
10. Can brighten up any landscape quickly and easily
If you’re looking for a quick change in your landscape, mulch can get you there quickly and easily. Although it is not the focal point of your landscape, it is a detail that will not go unnoticed.
Which type of mulch is right for me?
Mulch typically comes in three colors: red, black, and brown. The color of the mulch you choose can have an impact on the overall look of your landscape. When choosing your mulch color, you should take the color of your home and the color of your plants into account.
Red mulch pairs best with warm tones. If your home and flowers are yellow, beige, or earth-toned, red mulch will compliment your overall look the best. One of the most common varieties is cedar mulch.
Black mulch gives a very sleek look, and it’s often the first choice for contemporary homeowners. It compliments green foliage as well as grey, white, and other cool-toned homes.
If you are looking for a mulch that will enhance a brick home’s look, brown mulch is the way to go. Additionally, brown mulch looks beautiful with a variety of plants, shrubs, and flowers. If you are looking for a dark brown mulch, pine bark mulch and double hammered hardwood mulch are great options. If you would prefer a lighter brown mulch, cypress mulch will suit your needs.
Tips for Mulch Application
- More is not always better. Add 2-4 inches of mulch when installing for the first time. Too much mulch will prevent water from reaching the soil, encourage fungus growth, and keep the soil continuously wet, causing damage to your plants.
- Do not place mulch directly against the stems or trunks of plants and trees. Piling mulch around the plant’s base or tree can promote excess moisture, causing crown rot and other diseases.
- Don’t overexert yourself. Mulching beds can be a labor-intensive process. Stay cool, hydrated, and take plenty of breaks if you do not often work outside in the heat.
For more tips on how to install mulch, click here.
Mulch installation can transform your home and landscape’s look. Better yet, you can transform your property quickly, easily, and at an efficient price.
Do you need help deciding which mulch is right for you? Are you looking for a trusted professional to install your mulch? The experts at Rivers Lawn and Landscape can help guide you in the right direction. We’re also available to help with any lawn care or landscaping projects you have in mind. Request your free estimate today.