Reducing Garden Maintenance By Using The Correct Mulch | Maintaining Lawns And Gardens

Reducing Garden Maintenance By Using The Correct Mulch | Maintaining Lawns And Gardens

Not all mulches reduce maintenance. Some actually help weeds germinate, stop water getting to the soil, and even create disease. Mulches should be sold in two categories; soil conditioner and ground cover mulch.

Well composted soil conditioner is excellent for improving the conditions of the soil, providing better water penetration, less disease, and better growing conditions for plants. Soil conditioner has lots of composted fines. On the other hand, ground cover mulch should be pieces of mulch no smaller than 10mm in size, and definitely no fines.

Ground cover mulch needs to provide lots of airflow to the base of the plant, which reduces the chance of disease. Unfortunately, too often landscapers, and maintenance people cover planting beds with mulch that is better suited to soil conditioning, or worse they use soil conditioner mulch that has not even been composted properly and as a result simply end up spreading disease.

Good ground cover mulch with no fines will allow water and air to penetrate, stop weed seeds from germinating, keep moisture in the ground, and generally keep a garden looking great. The right mulch reduces maintenance costs, on the other hand a poor mulch with lots of fines will often repel water, germinate weed seeds, stop airflow to the base of the plant, promote disease, kill plants, and cause nitrogen draw down.

So instead of reducing maintenance, a poor mulch will increase watering requirements, increase weeding costs, increase disease control work, cause more planting of new plants to replace dead ones, and increase fertilizer requirements. A good mulch is great, but it is better to use no mulch than use a poor mulch or the wrong mulch. Remember; ground cover mulch should never have fines. click here for more gardening tips

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