Mulching is one of the most beneficial things a home owner can do for the health of a tree or a plant. Mulch can reduce water loss from the soil, minimize weeds, and improve soil structure. Properly applied, mulch can give landscapes a handsome, well-groomed appearance. Mulch must be applied properly; if it is too deep, or if the wrong material is used, it can cause harm to trees and other landscape plants.
Apply about 1" of shredded bark mulch around top the of plants and about 2-3" of shredded bark mulch to the rest of your beds. When mulching around trees do not apply mulch in contact with tree trunk.
Benefits of Proper Mulching:
- Helps maintain soil moisture. Evaporation is reduced, and the need for watering can be minimized.
- Helps control weeds. A 2-4" layer of mulch will reduce the germination and growth of weeds.
- Mulch servers as natures insulating blanket. It keeps soils warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
- Can inhibit certain plant diseases.
- A layer of mulch around trees can reduce the likelihood of of damage from weed whackers or lawnmower blight.
- Mulch gives planting beds a uniform, well-cared-for look.
Problems from Improper Mulching:
- Deep mulch can lead to excess moisture in the root zone, which can stress the plant and cause root rot.
- Piling mulch against the trunk or stems of plants can stress stem tissues and may lead to insect and disease problems.
- Thick blankets of mulch can become matted and may prevent the penetration of water and air. In addition, a thick layer of fine mulch can become like potting soil and may support weed growth.
Approximate coverage for 1 cubic yard of mulch:
- 1" Depth - 324 sq. ft.
- 2" Depth - 162 sq. ft.
- 3" Depth - 108 sq. ft.
- 4" Depth - 81 sq. ft.
- 5" Depth - 54 sq. ft.