Bloomers Garden Center
"Plants Are Cool"
To Mulch or not to Mulch, that is the question. Acutally, it's a no
brainer. There are so many benefits to using mulch in the
landscape and garden that the real question is; why aren't you
mulching? Some of the more obvious benefits:
• Mulch helps to conserve moisture. A well mulched garden will not
dry out as fast after a rain or irrigation event.
• Mulched soil is living soil; mulch creates a buffer zone in which
beneficial soil micro-organisms and arthropods (earthworms, etc.)
can live and thrive.
• Mulch suppresses weed growth reducing labor, and the weeds
that do come up, will be easier to remove.
• Mulch helps to regulate soil temperature resulting in cooler soil in
the hot summer, (less stress on plant roots) and warmer soil in the
cold winter, (protecting plant roots).
Tips for mulching:
Use organic mulches. These are sustainable, locally available,
and break down thus improving overall soil structure and
viability. Native Hardwood Mulch, Native Cedar Mulch, Cotton
Burrs and Sylvan Formula are a few excellant choices.
Apply mulches 2" to 4" thick while avoiding piling up mulch
against plants or trees. (See photo to the right of how not to
mulch your trees)
Over time, mulches tend to pack, forming a mat that may
restrict water from percolating down through mulch into the
soil. To remedy this, occaisonal forking up of mulch using a
garden fork may be necessary.
Use mulch around perennials in the fall to protect plant roots
through the winter. Pull mulch away from perennials in early
spring to warm soil up faster and encourage plants to break
dormancy. Once soil has warmed and plants are actively
growing, mulch can be reapplied.
Never pile up mulch against
the base of a plant or tree
creating a "Mulch Volcano".