PROPER MULCHING TECHNIQUES AND PROBLEMS CAUSED BY OVER MULCHING
Now is the great time to be mulching existing garden beds.
Here is a quick list of what proper mulching will provide:
- Mulch is considered the first line of defense against weed growth.
- New mulch adds a fresh, clean look to all garden beds
- Mulch helps to keep the ground shaded, cooler, and moist longer.
- As mulch decomposes it adds organic matter to the soil below.
- Mulch protects the trunk from mower and weed whacker damage.
Here is a list of problems associated with over-mulching:
Incorrect mulching is a waste of time and money and is becoming the number one cause of death of trees and shrubs. Over-mulching, with mulch piled high, and directly against the stems or trunks smothers the root flare zone.
- Root suffocation – roots on all plants need to have oxygen to survive. A heavy layer of mulch reduces the oxygen available to the roots.
- Mulch piled high against the trunk kills the inner bark and the roots which can no longer receive food from the leaves.
- Deep layers of mulch provide a perfect habitat for pests.
- Thick layers of certain mulches can create impervious surfaces that do not allow water to reach the roots, especially during any dry periods.
Remember the Golden Rule when it comes to Mulching
MULCH OUT NOT UP – STOP THE VOLCANO MULCHING HABIT
Tips on proper mulching methods:
- 2 to 4” is as thick as you want the mulch to be at any given time.
- Keep the mulch away from the trunk of the plant.
- Mulch under the “drip line” of the plant, if possible.
- If you are wanting to add “fresh” mulch then you may need to take away some of the old mulch