A fresh layer of mulch is an important addition to fall landscaping. Remember last year's abnormally frigid temperatures at Christmas? While it's true that a fresh layer of mulch still would not have completely protected all plants from those cold temperatures (and the very quick rate the temperatures dropped during that time), mulch helps insulate plants in winter. Think of mulch as a snuggly blanket for your plants. Mulch also has a benefit in the summer heat- it keeps plants cooler in summer.
Which type of mulch you choose often comes down to personal preference. 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.
A few other reasons to add mulch:
Mulch helps prevent weeds from growing as much as they do without mulch. Mulching oftentimes 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!
Mulching a vegetable garden is also a good option to control weeds. If you want to mulch your vegetable garden, we suggest using our bulk mulch or pine straw to mulch it.
The final reason, is, of course, that a fresh layer of mulch just looks beautiful and finishes a gardening bed! Add a fresh layer this fall; it will serve you well come winter.