From smothering weeds to giving your flower beds a polished look that showcases the beauty of your plants, mulch serves a very important purpose in the garden. It’s also practical in that it retains the moisture levels in your soil, defends against dry spells, reduces the need for watering and acts as a layer of insulation for your plants all year long – from the bitter cold of winter to the sweltering heat of summer. Mulch also protects your garden from erosion and adds important nutrients to your soil. Sounds like a must-have for any garden, doesn’t it?
Nowadays, homeowners have the greatest selection of mulches to choose from, including the type of material, as well as colour choices. But, there are some mulches that are better suited for certain applications than others. Here are some points to consider when selecting the right kind of mulch for your flower beds:
Types of Mulch
Mulch usually falls into two categories: organic and inorganic. For perennial and annual flower beds, organic mulches, such as wood chips, cedar mulch, bark mulch or pine mulch, work better than inorganic mulches, like rocks or gravel. Organic mulches decompose over time, which improves soil quality and nutrient levels. Rocks, on the other hand, tend to work down into the soil, making it difficult to dig, plant and maintain gardens – this makes them better suited for areas without plants. Another growing trend in landscape design is the use of rubber mulch, which is an eco-friendly alternative to wood mulch and is available in a range of colours that will never fade over time.
Choosing a Mulch
How you want your flower beds to look, as well as what you want the mulch to do, will determine the type of mulch for your garden. Long-lasting mulches, like bark mulch or wood chips, provide an attractive cover to perennial gardens, which insulate the soil, suppress weeds and retain soil moisture. These types of mulches also break down slowly, adding important nutrients to your soil, but they will discolour over time, unlike rubber. Shorter-lived mulches, like finer pine blends, also add vital nutrients to the soil and retain moisture, but they are not as effective at blocking weeds. These types of mulches are better suited in annual gardens where you replant in the spring, summer and fall to suit the changing seasons.
Maintaining Your M
When choosing a mulch for your flower beds, you’ll also want to consider its care. Organic mulches require regular maintenance, even long-lasting types. When laying mulch, you’ll want to apply it in a layer that’s 2- to 3-inches deep to ensure that it can effectively block out weeds. When the colour begins to fade, a quick raking is a great way to restore the look, or a thin layer can be added on top. You’ll also want to replenish the mulch layer each year to maintain the depth. The best time seasons to do this are in the spring or early summer after the ground has warmed up. Choosing a mulch that is widely available will ensure that you can match the same colour and type each year.
Get Mulching This Spring!
At Boulders Landscape Supply, we carry a wide range of mulches for all of your do-it-yourself landscaping projects. Best of all, we offer convenient delivery in Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington and the Greater Toronto Area, saving you the hassle of lugging heavy, dirty bags from the garden centre in your own vehicle.
Plus, if you need help deciding which type of mulch to complement for your flower beds, our friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to provide recommendations. We’ll even calculate just how much product you need, so you don’t run short or are left with too much.
To connect with us about your next outdoor project, stop by Boulders Landscape Supply at 2480 Royal Windsor Drive in Mississauga or contact us today to speak with an associate.