Mulch is any type of material that is spread or laid over the surface of the soil as a covering. It is used to retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool and make the garden bed look more attractive. There are two kinds of mulch, Organic and Inorganic.
Mulches made from plant material are organic mulches. Over time, organic mulches will decompose and become part of the soil. This is a great advantage, because this decomposition adds organic matter to your soil, helping the soil to better retain water and nutrients-giving you healthier plants. This means, however, that organic mulches will have to be replenished from time to time. Organic mulches examples are bark, wood chips, sawdust, straw, pine straw, shredded leaves and newspaper.
Inorganic mulches, often of stone or plastics, tend to stay in place, do not rob the soil of nitrogen, and do not harbor weed seeds. However, they have numerous disadvantages when used in the garden. Stone mulches can migrate down into the soil in time, making future digging difficult. Light-colored stones can reflect heat onto plants, scorching sensitive plants. Stones also tend to work free of beds and can be thrown by lawn mowers, potentially causing injury. Perhaps the greatest disadvantage, however, is that these mulches do not contribute organic matter to your soil. Examples of inorganic mulches are crushed stone, gravel, volcanic rock and plastic.
At the Tree Connection, we can help you decide what kind of mulch you will need and install it to provide your landscape job with a professional look.