Landscaping the outside of your home essentially has the same effect as decorating the inside. Just like your choice of colors and decor for your home’s interior, your choice in landscape for the outside can either make your home’s curbside appeal warm and inviting, or it can give your home a dull, boring and unkempt look. Landscaping can be one of the hardest decisions and confusing for many homeowners. It may seem like an overwhelming job of endless decisions. With so many things to consider, from the size and shape of your yard, the grade and type of soil you have to work with, the climate, and of course, you probably have a budget you want to stick with. All these factors will play a role in how you decide to landscape your yard. One landscaping element that has not only remained a popular No matter how you sculpt your yard and begin landscaping it to your preference, one of the most commonly used landscape materials is mulch. Mulch not only enhances landscapes, but it serves a vital purpose for a lot of yards. For instance, did you know that mulch can help prevent erosion and it helps to release nutrients back into your soil for better plant growth? If you’ve considered using mulch for creating a beautiful and appealing landscape, here are a few things to think consider, and a few ideas to get you started on your way.
Reasons to use mulch
Yes, mulch can really add a sense of beauty to your yard, but beyond the appealing looks of neatly laid mulch, here are some other reasons why you might want to incorporate mulch in your landscape plans.
- It suppresses the growth of weeds. No one likes the thoughts of having to pull weeds in their plant beds or around trees, so if you want a way to help keep them at bay, mulch will give you an added preventative measure against them. Plus, should any pop up, mulch makes them easier to pull.
- Mulch holds moisture in, which means less watering for you.
- When it rains, mulch buffers the downpours to prevent soil from becoming hard and compacted. Plants like their dirt soft and airy. Their roots grow better in softer soil as opposed to hard, tough dirt, so spreading mulch around your plants will help to ensure they will have the optimum dirt texture to grow in.
- It protects your plants from diseases. Yes, mulch acts as a protector against soil-based diseases that have the potential of being splattered onto the leaves and stems during rain and wet conditions.
- It keeps your plants warm and cool. During extreme weather, temps can either rise or fall and leave your plants too cold or hot. Mulch helps to regulate the soil temperatures so your plants are comfortable year round.
- Mulch serves as a final polished touch to your landscape, so-to-speak. When you go to the trouble of landscaping a whole yard and don’t lay mulch as part of the plan, it’s kind of like, not finishing a painted picture. It just leaves you hanging. So finish that picture with mulch.
Don’t over do the mulch in areas
Here is one thing many people have gotten wrong over and over when mulching their yard. It has always been thought that mulch should be heaped around the bases of trees and bigger shrubbery, but according to landscape experts, this is an incorrect theory. Heaping mulch around the base of a tree will only suffocate the the roots and cause root rotting. The ideal way to lay mulch around a tree is to spread it out as far as the outermost edge of the leaves of the tree reach. This means that when rain drips from the leaves, it will fall into the mulch, and visually gives the mulch a more symmetric look with the tree. You will want to spread a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the tree, leaving a 2-4 inch free-gap between the trunk and the start of the mulch. This spacing should be followed with shrub bases and perennial stems as well.
Use heavier, woody type barks where you don’t plant to dig
When it comes to choosing a heavy or light mulch, keep in mind that heavier mulches make it difficult to dig through and work on the ground underneath. If you plan to do a lot of digging in an area on a regular basis, like a garden, skip the heavy bark mulches there and go for something lighter and airier, like straw or needles. Heavy bark mulches work best around lines of hedges in front of the home, along walkways, and around trees, and other areas where digging through to the dirt won’t be a necessity.
For great landscaping ideas using mulch, take a look at the following 20 beautiful examples of incorporating mulch into landscaping.
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