Throughout the summer, we’ve covered several topics regarding lawn maintenance specifically, from making sure your irrigation system is working properly to understanding when to aerate and dethatch your grass. But today we’re going to turn our attention to the peripheral areas of your property and examine how you can make the most of your plant and flower beds. Just as it is vital to take proper care of your turf to help make your property shine, it’s also important to spend time maintaining those areas bordering your green spaces. After all, what good is a manicured lawn if plant and flower beds are unkempt, possibly making them a distracting eyesore?
To that end, it’s valuable to understand the ins and outs of mulch—from the advantages of including it in appropriate areas to how to properly install the medium.
The Power of Mulch
If you think the plant areas on your property are adequate with uncovered soil, it may be worth exploring the benefits of adding mulch to the mix. You may be surprised just how helpful the material can be. Let’s consider a few major aspects.
Weed Control – Perhaps one of the most useful features of mulch is how integral it can be in limiting the amount of weeds that appear in plant and garden spaces. The barrier layer prevents sunlight from reaching weeds so they are less likely to pop up among flowers and trees. This can translate into time and cost savings on your end, with less attention needed to battle the pesky plants.
Moisture and Nutrient Retention – Another advantage of mulch is the fact that it can help soil hold in the moisture and nutrients necessary to keep plants healthy. Organic mulch varieties absorb water, while inorganic options prevent water from evaporating too quickly before plants can use it.
Prevents Soil Erosion – Although moisture is necessary for plants, rain water can cause soil to erode in open spaces. A barrier layer of mulch helps to keep soil intact.
Provides Soil Nutrients – In addition to preventing the loss of soil nutrients that can occur with soil erosion, organic mulch options break down over time. When the decompose, they add nutrients back into the soil.
Pest Control – The oils in some varieties of organic mulch, such as cedar, cypress chips and bark, can deter particular pests, like ticks and gnats, from your garden space.
Inviting Beneficial Creatures – While mulch can discourage particular pests, it can also serve as a welcome mat for earthworms, whose presence can boost soil health.
Aesthetic Appeal – When mulch is installed in plant and garden spaces, yards instantly reflect a more polished appearance.
Mulch Installation and Other Tips
If you decide that mulch is right for your property, there are some things to keep in mind.
Selection – Choose a mulch option that is right for your budget as well as your space. Take into consideration any pest or soil fertility issues you may have.
Consider Layer Thickness – When installing mulch, be mindful of how thick a layer you are creating. Ideally, mulch depth should be limited to two to four inches. Any more and it will prevent moisture from reaching soil. Additionally, too much mulch can encourage pests and rodents to move in and make themselves at home.
Be Careful Around Trees – While mulch can be helpful in keeping plant spaces weed-free and looking tidy, you’ll want to be mindful of not piling it up around the base of trees and over shrubbery roots. This can lead to disease and rot.
Avoid Barriers Between Soil and Mulch – There shouldn’t be any fabric or plastic barriers covering your soil before mulch is installed. As mulch decomposes, the nutrient particles need to be able to reach the soil underneath.
Install at the Appropriate Time – You’ll want to install mulch on your property after soil has had a chance to recover from snowy and rainy seasons. Typically, mid to late spring is best. You can also install mulch seasonally to protect plants during their winter dormancy. Winter mulch installation should occur in late fall.
Keep an Eye on Mulch – Check the state of your mulch yearly. It’s sometimes necessary to remove some old mulch and add in some new to keep your garden spaces healthy and looking polished.
Keeping Property Garden Space in Check
When mulch application is done correctly and maintained, the advantages for property managers are great. With both the benefits as a weed and pest deterrent, and the aesthetic appeal it brings to peripheral areas, it’s clear to see why many choose to implement mulch on their properties. If you need help preparing your space for mulch and its installation, we’re here to share our expertise. Please contact us today to set up a consultation for your property maintenance needs.