There are two types of mulches:
While there are many types of mulch, organic mulches help improve the soil by adding organic matter as they decompose.
They also may encourage the growth of worms and other beneficial soil organisms that can help improve soil structure and the availability of nutrients for plants.
Returns nutrients to the soil and improves soil structure.This means your lawn and gardens will require less fertilizer and other additives.
The mulch lowers the soil's exposure to the sun and wind which reduces evaporation and the need for watering.
Helps slow the growth of weeds. Add two to four inches of mulch to gardens to reduce the need for herbicides.
Acts as insulating barrier from the heat in the summer, cold in the winter and from the wind. Mulch insulates the roots of perennials, protecting them against the freeze thaw cycles.
Prevents compaction and erosion of soils.
Helps to prevent tree trunk injury by mowers and trimmers.
Leaf and grass mulching saves you time and money.
By mulching your leaves, you save time bagging them and you reduce the need to buy yard waste bags.
Weed the area before applying mulch.
When mulching your leaves, keep your lawn mower blade sharp and set the blade around 2.5 inches high.
Just like mowing your grass, mow when leaves are dry to prevent clumping.
Mow leaves slowly.
Mow leaves when there is no more than one inch of leaves on the ground.
Apply mulch in two to four inch layers.
Many wood and bark mulches are composed of fine particles and should not be more than two to three inches deep. Coarse-textured mulches such as pine bark nuggets allow good air movement through them and can be as deep as four inches.
Mulches composed of grass clippings or shredded leaves should not be deeper than two inches, because these materials tend to mat together, restricting the water and air supply to plant roots.
A two-inch layer of pine needles makes excellent mulch for acid-loving trees and shrubs. It allows water to penetrate easily.
The best time to place mulch around new plantings is right after they are planted, because it helps to conserve moisture in the root ball of the new plant until the roots have grown out.
Mulch is best applied in early spring for established plants.This is when plants are starting to grow and before weeds start to germinate.