Mulching is a good option to control those persistent weeds in your yard as well as to freshen up your landscape beds. A fresh layer of mulch really enhances all the great colors of the flowering plants.

Why Mulch?

Mulching has many benefits, including:

  • Mulch helps deter weed growth.
  • It maintains moisture levels in the soil.
  • Mulch acts as a great insulator and helps the soil stay cool during the hot summer months, and warmer in the fall and winter months, ensuring your plants stay healthy year-round. 
  • It protects the soil from erosion during hard rains. 

When to Mulch?

Late spring and mid-fall are great times to add new mulch. In spring, waiting until temperatures reach 60 degrees consistently is essential, because mulch retains cold temperatures, and could prolong your spring warm up. In fall, adding another layer of mulch will help lock in some heat from the summer, keeping your plants warmer going into the dormant months. 

Mulching Tips

A few do's and don'ts of mulching include: 

  • Weed before mulching. Adding mulch on top of weeds will only encourage the weed growth. 
  • Don't pile mulch up around the trunks of trees or stems of plants. This can cause severe damage or even kill plants. Leave a few inches for the tree or plant to breathe. This will also help prevent any depletion of moisture for the plant to keep it alive and healthy.
  • Add a layer of mulch that's about 3" deep on top of soil and surrounding newly planted trees, shrubs, annuals or perennials. If mulching around newly planted vegetables, apply a thinner layer, of about 1" until the plants start to grow taller. 
  • Mulch naturally breaks down over time (unless you use a synthetic mulch), so we recommend renewing it every few years. 
  • We recommend using a double shredded hardwood mulch. Choose one with an organic mixture, so it also helps keep a protective level of moisture near the roots of plants.

If you want to learn more, here is a video to review the differences and benefits to using stone vs. shredded bark mulch:

To learn more from McKay Nursery blog post click here: McKay Nursery Green Tips