The best mulch can make all the difference in your yard. With so many types of mulch available, it can be difficult to choose one. From shredded bark to compost, we cover the mulch basics to help you select which one will work best in your landscape. While mulching may seem like a basic part of gardening, there is so much to learn about the different types of garden mulch and what benefits each type provides. We’ll show you how to compare and contrast the different types of mulch and what situations to use them in.
There are a number of advantages to adding mulch in your garden. In the summer, mulch helps the soil hold moisture so you don’t have to water your garden as often. In the hot sun, soil also tends to dry out faster and harden. Mulch will help with this by protecting the soil from direct sunlight.
Mulch also prevents weeds. Adding mulch to your planting bed will block light from openings in the soil, therefore inhibiting weed germination. By adding a thick layer of mulch, you’ll ensure that the weeds never see the light of day!
Tip: While a concentrated layer of mulch is ideal, don’t overdo it. 2–4 inches is the ideal depth for a mulch layer.
Over time, garden mulch types made from organic materials break down and increase your soil’s structure and fertility. This is especially true with compost used as a mulch, as the nutrients will promote soil organisms and aid in plant growth.
Shredded bark is one of the most common and least expensive types of mulch. It comes from a variety of sources, including cedar trees. Shredded bark is one of the best mulch types to use on slopes and it breaks down relatively slowly. Some shredded-bark products are byproducts from other industries; they’re considered environmentally friendly. Check the mulch packaging for more information.
Straw mulch has a beautiful golden color that looks great in the garden. It’s also a bit slower to break down than leaves or grass clippings. Some gardeners like smaller, more shredded straw pieces while others prefer larger straws. Straw is classically used in more utilitarian gardens, such as vegetable gardens, and under strawberry plants. Straw does a great job of keeping mud out of your edibles.
Compost looks like soil, except it’s darker, so it really sets off plants well. This mulch material breaks down quickly but adds to your soil structure the fastest. Plus, it’s inexpensive; you can create your own rich compost for free. Many municipalities give away compost as well.
These bark nuggets are slower to break down than shredded bark, but they don’t stay in place as well. They’re not the best type of mulch for slopes or other areas where they may be washed away by heavy rain; the chips will tend to float and take off like boats. The nuggets are available in a variety of sizes; the bigger the nugget, the longer it lasts.
Please note that this Scottsdale Real Estate Blog is for informational purposes and not intended to take the place of a licensed Scottsdale Real Estate Agent. The Szabo Group offers first class real estate services to clients in the Scottsdale Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area in the buying and selling of Luxury homes in Arizona. Award winning Realtors and Re/MAX top producers and best real estate agent for Luxury Homes in Scottsdale, The Szabo group delivers experience, knowledge, dedication and proven results. Contact Joe Szabo at 480.688.2020, info@ScottsdaleRealEstateTeam.com or visit www.scottsdalerealestateteam.com to find out more about Scottsdale Homes for Sale and Estates for Sale in Scottsdale and to search the Scottsdale MLS for Scottsdale Home Listings.