Mulch can be used for a variety of reasons in your landscape, acting as a finishing touch for flowerbeds or as a way to choke out weed growth alongside concrete driveway or walkways. Mulch can also be used to retain moisture around trees and shrubbery. However, before you use mulch, follow these tips for getting the most benefit out of it for your landscape.
Some Differences Between Softwood And Hardwood Mulch
Color is a defining difference between some hardwood and softwood mulches. For example, hardwood mulch is commonly a medium to dark brown while many softwood mulches are light tan. Evergreen mulches, like that from cedar trees, smells wonderful and are usually a reddish-brown color. You might choose evergreen mulch if you need to repel insects while the choice of dark hardwood mulch may be best for your decorative need for a flowerbed. You may have tree saplings that would look best with light-colored softwood mulch that also retains moisture. Your choices for hardwood or softwood mulches are determined by the specific needs you have in mind for them.
Aged Mulch Can be Best For Some Vegetation
When you purchase a bag of new mulch, it may be fresh and have a structure that is hard and durable. However, as it lies under shrubs or in flowerbeds, mulch can begin to age and decompose. If you are planting new flowers or other vegetation that will need to establish a strong root system, aged mulch is best to use around them because it will take as much nitrogen from the soil as new mulch. By using aged mulch, you can avoid the need to add additional nitrogen fertilizer to your soil. If you have plans to put out new flowers or other young vegetation, laying out mulch so it can start aging is a good idea so it will be ready to use when you plant. You might think about using new hardwood mulch on walkways or around concrete drives for allowing it to decompose. When it has become aged, you can remove it to use around your young plants. You can always replace the aged mulch you took from a walkway with new hardwood mulch for starting the process over again.
A Word Of Advice When Using Grass Clipping As Mulch
Many people use their grass clippings in vegetable gardens and underneath hardwood or softwood mulches for increased moisture retention and weed suppression. While using grass clippings to enhance the benefits of your mulch is perfectly acceptable, you should keep in mind the kinds of pesticides and fertilizers you may have used on your lawn before trimming it. Use grass clippings you know are free of chemicals for getting the best and safest results for the vegetation you use it for.
Planning your landscape can be a lot of fun, especially when you are putting together the ornamental aspects of it that usually includes mulch. Take the time to choose the mulch best for your needs and you will see how it makes a difference in the health and decorative appeal of your gardens.