House owners are often very protective of the gardens in their backyards. They want to enrich the soil by adding a layer of decomposed organic and inorganic materials. This protective layer consists of various materials that are termed as mulch, gaining many benefits for a garden.
It is best to apply the mulching layer of 2 to 4 inches thickness all over the ground, mainly below large trees and grasslands. The ground should be free from weeds and waterlogging to achieve the best results of mulching. This layer should be at least 6 inches away from the base of trees and plants.
Prime Reasons for Applying Mulch on the Ground
1. Maintains Optimum Soil Temperature:
Plant roots deep into the soil remain cooler even during scorching summer heat when the ground is covered with a mulch layer. Likewise, roots are saved from frost and chilling cold during winter, as the soil remains warmer due to the mulches. However, mulching materials should not be piled too close to a plant stem, which can be a gateway for harmful pests to plants.
2. Holds on Moisture in the Soil:
The mulching layer of fine particles helps in retaining the natural moisture of the soil, even during hot and dry summer. Though organic mulches may absorb some water, all mulching materials prevent the fast evaporation of water from the soil. Thus, house owners can save water and the money spent on monthly water bills, as they do not need to water the vegetation of their gardens too often.
3. Obstruct Soil Erosion in the Garden:
Soft mulching particles reduce the force of rainwater drops hitting the ground. It can prevent the topmost layer of the soil from being washed away. Larger particles of the mulching layer hold on the soil and save from wind erosion even during cyclonic storms. The mulch layer also prevents the damage of soil from the weight exerted by the footsteps of people. Thus, it is needed in places that experience heavy traffic regularly.
4. Increases Earthworm’s Activities:
The earthworm is beneficial for the soil of every garden, as it makes a more comfortable passage for water and air. Earthworms prefer the decomposed organic mulch as foods, and larger mulching particles are used as their shelter. The increased movements of earthworms make the soil more fertile for the better growth of vegetation.
5. Retains Nutrients of the Soil:
Usually, heavy rainfalls wash out the topmost layer of the soil that contains the maximum natural nutrients. The mulching layer prevents this soil erosion and holds back the nutrients within the soil. Moreover, the organic mulches enrich the soil by adding more nutrients that make plants healthier.
6. Averts Away Garden Pests:
Some mulching materials, like cedar bark, have the property of driving out harmful pests away from garden trees and plants. The pungent doors of these materials prevent insects from invading plants, saving the vegetation from damage. On the contrary, some materials can attract insects.
7. Stops Growth of Weeds:
Since the layer of mulch spreads up to 2 to 4 inches deep into the ground, it prevents sunlight and air from reaching the roots of unwanted weeds. It stops the growth of weeds on that soil and also destroys the existing weeds. Thus, mulch is the best weed control procedure and also reduces the severity of winter injury to plants.
Usually, the mulch renders a fertile look to the garden floor and reduces the labor of frequent mowing of grasses. Mulching materials do not need any extra care and never interferes with the surrounding environment. The careful placement of the mulching layer can help in the healthy growth of plants with the minimum effort from a house owner.