Most people love to see trees and plants. Trees give off an aura of serene and beautiful community. Where trees abound, shade, fresh and cool air follows, fresh fruits even are abundant. Trees are essential for our survival and therefore, we must protect and conserve trees by properly taking care of them. While Mother Nature takes care of the trees and plants in the forests, we have to do our fair share of ensuring our own trees and plants in our own backyard or lawn are growing healthy. They have to be taken care of to maintain their beauty and in turn be beneficial for us. Now, there are several methods to take care of trees, one of them is mulching.
Mulching is the technique of placing organic and inorganic materials (mulches) on the soil around plants. Mulches are considered a young plant’s best friend. Mulching is considered among the most advantageous things a home owner can do for the health of a tree. Furthermore, mulching, when done properly will give your landscape a well-groomed and handsome facade.
Benefits of Mulching
1. It maintains soil moisture. Mulch retains water and reduces the evaporation process.
2. It inhibits germination of weeds and therefore impedes growth.
3. Mulch serves as buffers for soil to keep it cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold weather.
4. Mulching improves soil aeration, structure as well as drainage over time.
5. Mulch improves soil fertility/quality.
6. Inhibit certain plant diseases.
7. Limit salt build up.
8. Provides protection from damage caused by lawnmower and/or weed wacker.
9. Mulching gives a properly cared for appearance and uniform look to planting beds.
Mulches can be categorized as organic and inorganic. Organic mulches decompose and thereby making the soil more fertile. Organic mulches can be leaves, wood chips, barks of hardwood and softwood, pine needles, compost mixes and other by-products that often times come from plants. Inorganic mulches do not break down or decompose. Materials like the different variety of stones, geo-textile fabrics, lava rock and the likes are some examples.
The general depth recommendation when mulching is 2-4 inches. While organic mulches break down and must be topped or replenished, you must remember that the decomposition process differs with each type. Do not over-pile or make a heap at the base of the plants as too much can be unhealthy for plants, causes too much water retention resulting in soil drench and promotes certain plant diseases like root rot.