Mulch is great for many different plants and applications in landscaping and there are many benefits of bark mulch in vegetable gardens, decorative features, rock gardens and on paths.
Benefits of mulch
Around shrubs and trees – by replacing grass with mulch you eliminate the competition of the soil nutrients and the water. Providing a healthier environment for trees and shrubs. Keep mulch about 3- inches away from the base of the tree.
Vegetable garden and raised beds – mulch is very helpful when growing vegetables, insulating the roots, helping to retain water and keep the weeds to a minimum. Add mulch after your plants have come up and keep a ring of 1-2 inches away from the plant.
Landscape beautification – mulch just makes everything look tidy!
Note: some experts discourage using mulch in pollinator gardens, so do your research so you don’t discourage the bees from coming around!
Mulch is beneficial for gardens and the environment
During periods of drought or extreme cold mulch can act as a protective layer. In BC we are seeing the effects of climate change when we have huge fluctuations in temperature, seasonally higher or lower temperatures and more rain. According to the Government of Canada Weather site, Powell River could break another high temperature record on May 15, 2023. Estimated highs are 28 degrees. and the last high was in 2018 at 26 degrees. Using mulch can help in many ways to keep your plants healthy and alive:
Moisture retention: Mulch aids to reduce evaporation and maintain moisture. This means that plants have access to more water, which is especially important during hot and dry weather. As a result, mulched plants can be more drought-tolerant and require less watering.
Weed suppression: Mulch can suppress weed growth by blocking out sunlight and reducing the ability of weed seeds to germinate. This means that gardeners can spend less time weeding and more time enjoying their gardens.
Soil health: Mulch can improve soil health by adding organic matter as it decomposes. This organic matter helps to improve soil structure, increase soil fertility, and support beneficial soil microorganisms.
Temperature moderation: Mulch can help to regulate soil temperature by insulating the soil and protecting plant roots from extreme temperatures. This means that plants are better able to cope with temperature fluctuations and maintain their health and productivity. The roots of plants like it cooler in the hot summer.
Environmental benefits: Mulch can also have wider environmental benefits. By reducing the need for watering and weeding, it can help to conserve water and reduce the use of herbicides.
Additionally, by promoting healthy soil, mulch can support the growth of plants that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to mitigate climate change.
There are many benefits to using cedar mulch in your landscaping and vegetable gardens:
- Cedar mulch offers good ground cover for moisture and nutrient containment.
- Cedar mulch is an insect repellant. This makes it one of the favorite mulches for gardeners. Insects hate the smell of cedar mulch, and they keep at a distance.
- Cedar mulch lasts long. Compared to other ground covers such as straw or pine mulch cedar mulch does not deteriorate fast. This mulch lasts for years.
- Cedar mulch has a nice natural colour and adds a beautiful finish to paths and decorative gardens.
Fir Bark Mulch
This long-lasting fir mulch is great for flowerbeds, gardens, and trees. It helps to stabilize the soil temperature, reduce weeds, and retain moisture. This rich, warm, red-brown mulch is from the shredded bark of the Douglas fir tree. Not only does it look good, but it also smells great. Douglas fir bark takes time to break down so it will last years before it must be changed or topped up. It is a soft substance making it safe for inhabitants to dig around.
Aged Bark Mulch
This aged bark mulch is a fine texture to 3/8″ minus. Used as a soil amendment it can help balance the pH of the soil. The fine texture can help break up clumps of clay and compacted soils improving water penetration to plant roots. This is ideal for top dressing flower beds and vegetable garden beds. It helps keep plants healthy and reduces landscape maintenance.
As a soil amendment, fine aged bark improves drainage, add organic matter, and help to maintain an acidic soil as they have a low pH – perfect for acid-loving plants. The mulch can aid in breaking up clumps of clay and compacted soils, improving water and air penetration to plant roots.
Overall, using mulch in gardens can be a simple yet effective way to promote plant growth, conserve resources, and support a healthy environment. Come on by T&R to get your soils and mulch to help get your 2023 garden and landscape projects underway.
How to calculate how much mulch you need: Volume Calculator
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