Applying mulch can provide extra TLC for shrubs, trees and perennial gardens.
The best mulches are generated from aged, organic materials such as pine bark, chopped leaves or shredded, wood chips. A thin layer of mulch will help to prevent compacted soil from heavy rains; moderate moisture and temperature levels in the soil and suppress surface weeds. It also stands as a buffer between delicate plants and aggressive, lawn mowers. A proper use of mulch will be an asset to your plantings and your garden landscape.
1. Applying mulch to shrubs and trees
Shrubs and trees grow best without competition from grass or weeds. Apply a layer from 2- to 4-inches thick around new plantings. To promote healthy roots, you need a consistent exchange of air and water—so don’t mulch too deeply. Depending on the size of the tree or shrub, the mulched area could range from 3- to- 6-feet in diameter. Do not pile mulch up into mulch ‘volcanoes’ as this can harbor rodents and encourage damage to plant stems. Keep woody stems or trunks dry and airy by keeping mulch at least 2-inches away from them, as contact may cause rot.
2. Mulching perennial beds
Using a mulch layer in the growing season on perennial beds will make your life easier by suppressing weeds and keeping moisture levels more consistent in the soil. There are many color choices offered currently, but a dark brown mulch will always enhance your plantings with a neat and natural appearance. Apply a late-season mulch after the ground has frozen so insects or disease won’t over-winter in the mulch covering. By following these suggestions and doing a simple cleanup in late fall, you can prepare your healthy perennials for winter’s wrath.
For more information on the varieties of mulches, visit http://www.pasquesi.com/garden-care/choosing-a-mulch