Spending time outdoors can be both relaxing and entertaining. If creating a comfortable outdoor living space is on your to-do list for this summer, you will definitely want to consider investing in some mulch. Using mulch in your landscape design can help you control weed growth, prevent soil erosion, and give your flower beds a more polished look.
Here are three tips to ensure that you are using mulch correctly in your outdoor living space this summer.
1. Lay it on thin.
One of the more common mistakes that homeowners make when adding mulch to their landscape design is subscribing to the thought that thicker is better. When it comes to mulch, you want to keep the layer thin.
Experts suggest adding about three inches of mulch to your planting beds to reap maximum benefit without running the risk of trapping too much water in your soil. When the soil remains saturated with too much water, plant disease, rot, and rodents can become a problem.
If you are using a wood chip mulch or other lightweight material that will settle over time, go ahead and add an additional half-inch to an inch of mulch in addition to the recommended three inches to compensate for eventual compaction.
2. Leave some room at the base of foliage.
How you place mulch in your landscape could affect the health and vitality of your foliage. As discussed earlier, mulch significantly contributes to the retention of water in your soil. Retaining too much water right at the base of your tree trunks, flower stems, or perennial crowns could be detrimental to the health of your plants.
To prevent your mulch from contributing to plant rot, be sure that you are leaving an area of breathing room about one to two inches in diameter mulch-free around the base of your foliage.
3. Water after application.
Once you have applied mulch to your outdoor landscape, it's important that you apply some water to any freshly-mulched areas. Adding moisture to your fresh mulch will help weigh down any loose particles that could be blown away by the wind.
The additional water will also prevent the mulch from drawing water out of your soil, depriving your plants of the much-needed moisture. Taking the time to add water after laying down a fresh layer of mulch will help your mulch provide the maximum amount of benefit.
Understanding the basics of mulch can help you use this versatile material to improve your landscape design in the future. Contact a company like Hanover Concrete Company for information on what kind and quantity of mulch you'll need for your yard.