Blog for MyGardenBag.com
Friday December 15th 2017

Selecting the right mulch

How to select the right mulch? Where to buy mulch?

If you’re looking for a way to save lots of time in the garden, look no further. Mulching your flower and vegetable beds will drastically reduce the amount of time spent weeding, watering and fighting pests. Mulch also improves the appearance of your garden, and keep dirt from splashing up on your flowers and vegetables when it rains. But which type of mulch – Garden Mulch, playground mulch or rubber mulch?

If possible, consider using an organic mulch. Organic mulches are those that used to be living material, such as bark, straw, leaves, grass clippings and pine needles. These organic mulches improve the soil by adding nutrients as they decompose and encouraging earthworm activity.

How does garden mulch affect soil pH? More specifically, does any garden mulch lower soil pH, as many have long suspected?

The composition of your soil pH has a hefty impact on plant health. Since garden mulch could influence that composition as it decomposes, it’s understandable that people  have often expressed concern over how garden mulch selection impacts soil pH.  fortunately the most widely held view seems to be that garden mulch has little impact on soil pH.

“Insulation value in summer” is judged by the degree to which the garden mulch can keep the soil beneath cool and moist. A successful summer insulator will both reduce the need for watering and protect roots against extreme heat.

The consideration of whether or not the garden mulch needs to be removed in spring is grounded in the fact that heavy organic garden mulches can smother emerging spring plants. This is obviously less of a factor, however, for plants that remain alive aboveground, throughout the winter. But even the latter can profit from having the soil around their roots warmed by the spring sun, a process facilitated by the temporary removal of the garden mulch. In the case of plastic sheet mulch, this factor is irrelevant, since holes are poked through the material to provide access for the plants.

Like most mulches, organic mulch will exclude light and therefore prevent most annual weeds. Perennial weeds are mostly unhindered and should be removed first.

Take care: Deep organic mulches e.g. wood chip over 5cm deep, may allow weed seeds to germinate within the mulch although this usually takes several years and the weeds are easily removed as they are sitting in a poor loose medium.

Think of the fall leaves in the forest – dead leaves decay, release plant nutrients and form black humus. This is ideal material to hold water and nutrients, and to make fertile soil.

Types of Mulch:

Wood chips are the most common type of mulch that you will find at a garden centre or online at mygardenbag.com. They are easy to work with, plus it provides all the advantages listed above of good mulch. The only disadvantage that can be found is with new, unseasoned wood chips as they are at the beginning stages of decomposition. It’s best to stick with wood chips that have been aged for at least a year.
Rubber Mulch has a few problems… one its not a friendly environmental solution, what happens when that rubber gets mixed in with the dirt? Its like burying your old tires and hoping they just disappear.

-Odour on hot days can be unpleasant as the toxic gases emanate.

– Heat retention so while it might give provide some ground cover and retain moisture underneath it glows hot and radiates heat, not good for your nice flowering annuals or perennials.

– cost prohibitive compared to regular mulch

– Chemical leaching as it begins its 1000 year process in your backyard.

Overall its the worst choice you can make for the environment and your garden why not use something like an eco mulch instead?. nuff said on the uglies of rubber in the yard…

Leaves, Straw or Newspaper are all great options but require more hands on work as you’re effectively making your entire garden into a compost heap with temporary benefits for weed control and moisture retention. Go for it but it will never look like properly aged organic composted mulch.
Take a look at the offerings at MyGardenBag.com a premium product mulch supplier . Fantastic for suppressing weed growth, pests, and helps to retain moisture and minimize watering during dry summer months.

COMPOSTED BARK MULCH – Fir/Hemlock

Well aged and finely screened near black Mulch

Previous Topic: