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Some Great Benefits to Adding Mulch

Before working at Riverbend and loving gardening myself, I thought, “What’s all the fuss about mulch?” and “Why do people spend money and time putting it out; is it just to look pretty?” Since then, I have learned there are many benefits to adding mulch to your garden- whether you prefer hardwood mulch, pine straw, wheat straw, compost; there are many different types of mulches. Below I will lay out some of the biggest pluses to taking a little extra time and investing a little extra money in adding mulch to your gardening beds.

  • Mulch saves you, the gardener, time in the long run. Mulch helps prevent weeds from growing as much as they do without mulch (which equals less weeding- doesn’t that just put a big grin on your face? ). Mulch chokes out weeds and makes it much harder for them to grow, and when a pesky few do pop up, a simple pluck or spray with weed killer is all it takes. No hours spent trying to control out-of-control weeds in your garden!

  • Mulch can help protect plants in the summer time AND the winter time. Mulching before the hot, dry summer helps retain moisture for your plants and trees. Adding a layer of mulch around plants that may need a little extra warmth for our winters (such as Musa basjoo- Japanese banana tree) will help protect them from the cold weather.

  • Mulching a vegetable garden is a good option to control weeds also. If you are wanting to mulch your veggie-growing garden, we suggest using our bulk mulch or pine straw to mulch it.

  • And, back to the original thought, mulch just makes your gardening bed look even prettier. Mulch helps plants stand out so your eye really focuses more on the plants themselves, making for a prettier garden.

When mulching, if you are using hardwood mulch, it ought to be about 3-4 inches thick when spread on your bed, as it will settle some with rain and wear. If you are using pine or wheat straw, layer it about 4-5 inches thick, to account for it compacting easily and because of the loose nature of the straw. With any type of mulch, leave a bit of room around the crown or base of the plant, as too much mulch at the crown can cause the plant to rot.

What is your favorite type of mulch to use? At Riverbend Nurseries, we sell quite a few different types, as well as brown and black mulch sold by the yard in bulk. Now is a great time to think about mulching, as plants are growing and blooming or preparing to bloom for summer.

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