Mulching your flower beds and garden is a popular lawn care task this time of year. The problem is, most people apply mulch too late in the season, lessening its benefit. To understand the logic behind this theory, we are breaking down why we mulch in the first place.
Why Mulch Matters for Your Yard
Mulch is not just something to do for the sole purpose of enhancing the look of your yard, although it certainly does that. Mulching is the single most important thing you can do for your garden every year for several reasons …
- Suppresses weeds.
- Holds in moisture that would quickly evaporate without it.
- Regulates soil temperature.
- Improves the soil’s structure, which leads to better drainage and use of nutrients.
Just as weeding and removing leaves is easier to do before new bulbs and perennials pop up, the same goes for mulching. The soil is still weed-free, herbaceous plants are just beginning to grow, and the soil is starting to warm up a little, which means it’s the perfect window to lay your mulch while avoiding other plants’ lifecycles.
How Much Mulch Do I Need?
When it comes to mulch, more is definitely not better! Applying an overly thick layer of mulch can do more harm than good since it’s likely to encourage fungal disease and possibly even kill your plants.
Generally, the proper amount of mulch ranges from 2-3 inches. Adding mulch yearly will also help protect your plants' bases from nematode insects, which can literally wipe out an entire landscape if given free access to your plants.