February 25, 2021
With Spring finally approaching it’s time to start thinking about … Mulch!
Now this might not seem like fun topic to talk about, but I will give you some tips of the trade and help you pick out what type of mulch is best for your home. Mulch is not only good for garden beds, but it will make your home stand out. If you want yard envy, mulch is going to be essential to be on that list. There are plenty of mulches to choose from that work with your style and will not “break the bank.”
Shredded hardwood comes from lumber and paper industries. The best description of this mulch is its very “fine” but you can see small strands of wood. This mulch comes in different colors such as dark brown and even black. This type of mulch will last a long time and is among the easier for installation. When it breaks down it will make the soil more alkaline as opposed to pine mulch which makes it more acidic. So if you have acidic plants in your flower bed, have no fear, you can still have shredded hardwood but you will need to add an acid fertilizer to the soil. Over time this type of mulch tends to pack itself in together, making it hard for water to get to your plants.
Here in the south, pine needle mulch is the most popular choice. These needles break down over time causing naturally acidity to occur in the soil. When using this type of mulch long-term, you really want flowers that thrive off acidity (daffodils, azaleas, hydrangeas, camellias, and rhododendrons). Pine needles are also ideal for houses that are built on slopes. They tend to not wash away so easily and if you do lose some you can always spread them around easier. The downside to pine needles is that with time, like anything, they begin to fade. When they fade, most people will find them unattractive.
Bark mulch is another popular choice not just in the south but throughout the United States. The look varies in bark mulch but usually is seen as small nuggets or shredded flakes. Bark mulch is absorbent and is great for mulching. This type of mulch is basically organic matter and is biodegradable. Beware, that if your mulch has not completely disintegrated when you want new mulch, you will need to remove it and put the new layer down. This type of mulch can last years on end if maintained properly.
Colored wood mulch contains many different items at times and would essentially be considered scrap wood. This is the most popular type of mulch in the United States and is pretty cost effective. This mulch is extremely easy to dye unlike bark and comes in a variety of colors such as red, brown, and black. The dyes are not toxic to plants or animals. The dye tends to fade quickly and is usually replaced sooner than other mulches.
Stone mulch is the least popular mulch here in the south. Out of all the mulches this one is typically the most expensive. This mulch will never break down but is difficult to add plants and maintain a positive plant life in your garden. Stone mulch also gets ridiculously hot in the summertime making it more difficult for plants to survive. This however is a great option though for someone who wants low maintenance. I personally find this type of mulch with dark shredded hardwood beautiful.
Now that Spring is finally just around the corner, I hope this blog on mulch has given you some insight on what you would like this year.. I would love to hear what type of mulch you have now, what you like/dislike about it, and what mulch you would like to have.