Much Ado About Mulch

If you tend to a garden or work in the yard, you likely have heard of mulch, but what does it do for your landscape? There are many year-round benefits of mulching and it pays to consider your options when maintaining a lawn, garden, or greenspace.

There are basically three choices when it comes to mulch: synthetic mulch, natural mulch, and living mulch.

The best mulch depends on how you plan to use it. Natural mulch is an overwhelming winner that seems to suit most occasions; however, synthetic lasts longer and costs less. Living mulch is used primarily in and around food crops, and some examples include alfalfa and clovers.

Why Mulch?

If you wonder if mulching is worth the extra effort, it is. Mulch is not only decorative in some instances, but it protects young roots and seedlings during cool or inclement weather. Furthermore, the use of mulch significantly cuts down on the weeds that you will need to remove from your yard and garden. Mulch is a great winter insulator in any climate!


You may want to add a couple inches of mulch to your tilled soil in the spring before you plant anything. You can also top off your dirt with a layer of mulch, like pine or cedar, to add an aesthetic touch to the plants. Put mulch around trees too, but keep the mulch about an inch away from the trunks to promote growth.


You may be able to access large amounts of fresh natural mulch from the city or town that you live in, as many municipalities will chip trees and trimmings into free mulch for residents. You can hire a chipper to mulch your own branches or wood on your property or simply buy bags of different types of mulch from your local home and garden retailer.  


Another perk of mulch is that it keeps pests down during hot, humid weather when they can move in and take over a garden or greenspace. During winter, mulch serves as a part of the natural ecosystem, providing shelter for beneficial insects and wildlife when the weather turns colder. Using mulch in your yard and garden is an environmentally-friendly thing to do!

Talk to your landscaper about incorporating rich, natural residential mulch all around your property, from your topsoil in spring to your trees in winter. Consider unique varieties, like black mulch or redwood, to complement the colors of your home exteriors. Talk to your local landscaping company and garden supply venues to learn more.