Mulch makes your flowerbeds & landscape beds look great - but it does so much more. It also retains moisture, slows down weed growth, provides nutrients, controls erosion, reduces soil compaction, and insulates the soil, protecting plants from extreme temperature variations.
Organic mulches also improve the condition of the soil. As these mulches slowly decompose, they provide organic matter which helps keep the soil loose. This improves root growth, increases the infiltration of water, and also improves the water-holding capacity of the soil. Organic matter is a source of plant nutrients and provides an ideal environment for earthworms and other beneficial soil organisms.
Advantages of Fall Mulching
In spring and summer, mulching helps control weeds. In fall mulching has a different purpose. During the months ahead, temperatures can change radically. The ground heaves as it freezes and thaws, forcing the root systems of many plants up from the soil and exposing them. Mulching helps prevent the rapid fluctuations in soil temperature and reduces the chances of heaving. Mulch helps maintain a more even temperature and also raises the freeze line, which encourages earthworms to work closer to the surface of the soil. Apply fall mulch when the ground is near frozen. Bark and composted bark mulch are an ideal choice for fall mulch. These make a neat finish to the garden bed and will eventually improve the condition of the soil. These may last for one to two years or more depending on the size of the bark or how well composed the bark mulch is. Smaller chips tend to be easier to spread, especially around small plants.
Starting the Mulching Process
Tips For Making The Most of Your Mulch