Advantages of Adding Mulch to Your Landscaping

Fresh laid mulch can make your gardens and landscaping areas look neat and tidy, but there is much more to mulch than just appearance. Mulch is a landscaping staple for the many advantages it offers. Mulch comes in many forms, including many types of bark or wood mulch, pine straw and other options. Here are some of the advantages of adding mulch to your landscaping besides aesthetics. 

  • Moisture control. Mulch is often used to hold in moisture in the soil. During the hot summers, water is at a premium. Keeping the moisture in the soil saves on irrigation and benefits your plants, trees and shrubs.
  • Preventing erosion. Mulch can help prevent erosion of top soil, especially on slopes and hills, keeping the nutrient-rich soil in place to feed your plantings.
  • Protecting roots. Mulch is used to protect the roots of trees and shrubs. Spreading mulch around the trunks of trees and around large shrubs can benefit the health of these larger plants.
  • Weed control. Laying mulch can prevent weed growth and keep your landscaping neat with low maintenance. Weeds not only detract for the beauty of your landscaping, they steal nutrients from the other plants.
  • During the winter months, mulch can insulate the soil and anything underneath. Often mulch is used above in-ground plumbing or septic areas to prevent freezing.
  • Adds nutrients. Some mulches breakdown over time and add extra nutrients to the soil.

While it is not mandatory to use mulch in landscaping, the benefits are plentiful. To determine the right mulch for your landscaping needs, consult with your local landscape supply store.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Time to Replace Your Mulch for Winter

Mulch helps make your landscaping look neat and tidy, but it also has functional properties. Mulch can protect your tree roots and help retain moisture in your soil. It can also limit weed growth, reducing your need to pull out weeds from your landscaped areas while adding nutrients to the soil. Many mulches can last a year or more, but a refreshing of mulched areas before winter is always a good idea for improved protection, while keeping your yard looking pristine.

So what type of mulch is best for your needs? There are several options, from different kinds of bark and tree mulch to pine straw. Here are some basics on some of the common mulches and their uses:

  • Pine Bark Mulch. Pine bark makes an excellent mulch, especially around trees and shrubs that enjoy an acid-rich soil. The pine bark can be dyed brown, red or black for aesthetic appeal.
  • Cypress Mulch. Cypress mulch is made from the entire tree, not just the bark. Like pine bark mulch, it works well for tree roots. It also has a pleasant odor and helps repel insects, which makes it a common mulch for use in playgrounds and daycares play areas.
  • Pine Straw. Pine straw can be an affordable mulch for large areas and works well for sloped areas where other types of mulch may roll or slide.

These are just a few of the mulches available to help landscape your yard. Talk to your local landscape supply store to determine which mulch will be best for your applications. You may want to use different types for various areas for aesthetic and practical purposes.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Choosing the Right Mulch for Your Landscaping

Mulch is used for a variety of reasons in landscaping, from weed and erosion control to insulating tree roots and retaining soil moisture. However, there are many options when choosing which mulch to use. Most landscapers prefer organic mulches that breakdown and improve the soil, although inorganic mulches can also be used. Hardwood, pine bark, pine straw and even manure can be used as mulch, along with dyed varieties. Here are some of the uses for some popular mulches.

  • Cypress mulch. For playgrounds, cypress mulch is often used as it is a natural deterrent to insects. In some states like Georgia, daycare centers with outside play areas are required to use cypress mulch.
  • Dyed hardwood mulch. For attractive mulching, dyed hardwood mulch is an excellent choice. Mulch is usually dyed in browns, reds and black. Make sure the dyed mulch is eco-friendly, using dyes that won’t release toxins into the soil.
  • Pine Straw. Pine straw is a great covering for sloped areas. Pine straw mulch does not move as easily and can help deter erosion.
  • Pine bark mulch. For protecting tree and shrub roots, pine bark mulch is an excellent choice, especially trees that prefer an acid-laden soil.
  • Compost. Manure and even peanut shells can be used in compost mulch which can help protect soil while adding nutrients.

Still not sure which mulch will be best for your landscaping? Call your local landscape supply company that offers several varieties of mulch. They can help you choose the best mulch for your needs and offer you advice on how often to replace or add new mulch to your landscaping.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

 

The Right Garden Mulch

One of the best things you can do for your garden is to put mulch around flowers, trees and shrubs.  Mulch acts as a protective barrier around the plants.  It helps to control weeds, retina moisture, prevent soil erosion, and it gives gardens a more polished look.   Deciding which type of mulch to use depends on the situation and also personal preference. 

Shredded bark mulch is one of the most popular types of garden covers.  Bark mulch comes from a variety of sources.   It’s attractive around flowers trees and shrubs, and it breaks down slowly.

Shredded leaves can also be used as mulch, but they do break down quickly and may need to be replaced ever year. 

Evergreen trees lose hundreds of needles and those pine needles make an excellent mulch.  Pine needles add a delicate texture around plants.  Pine needles hold in place quite well which makes them a good mulch for slopes. 

Gravel or rock is often used around plants, especially trees and shrubs.  These are inorganic materials and do not breakdown over time like other mulches.   One of the main problems of using rock is that it often gets scattered throughout the lawn. Rock is also heavy and cumbersome.  If at a later date you decide to use a different type of mulch it can be difficult and time consuming to remove. 

Cocoa bean or cocoa shell mulch provides several important nutrients to garden soil.  However, if this mulch gets overly wet it tends to attract pests.  The sweet smell can also attract dogs and other animals, which may dig in or even eat pieces of the mulch. 

Because mulch is so important it’s a good idea to make the right decision in what type of mulch to use.   A professional landscaper can assist you in determining the best mulch for your particular situation.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Advantages of Using Organic Bark Mulch

With spring just around the corner, it’s time to think about adding new mulch to your landscaping. Mulch is beneficial for protecting the soil, keeping in the moisture your plants and trees need. In addition, it can help with weed control, erosion and helps improve the aesthetics of your property. There are a wide variety of options at your disposal when choosing a mulch type, including organic bark mulch. For many purposes, bark mulch can offer several advantages over other varieties.

  • Add nutrients. Bark mulch is made from trees, which will decompose and add nutrients to the soil. Each type of wood breaks down at a different rate, with pine being one of the fastest while dyed bark mulch will decompose more slowly.
  • Longer moisture protection. While you can use grass clippings and compost for mulch, they tend to decompose faster, leaving your soil unprotected. Bark can last a year or longer, helping maintain moisture in your soil.
  • Weed control. Bark mulch is great for weed control, once again better than grass or compost, keeping those pesky weeds from sprouting up in your landscaping.
  • Cleaner yard. Using bark mulch makes for a cleaner yard, easily staying in place and keeping your shoes clean when you walk over it. Other types of mulch can stick to shoes and be washed or blown away in poor weather.

When you get ready to begin your spring planting and landscaping, make sure to invest in some beautiful bark mulch for your yard. Bark works great around the base of trees or in focal landscaped areas where you want to control weed growth. To save time, find a local mulch provider who offers delivery service.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Mulch Uses and Types

Mulch is a commonly used in many different landscaping projects, both as decoration and as an insulator. While most people will think of wood chips as mulch, there are many different types of wood mulch, each of which are used for different purposes. Knowing the difference can help you choose the right mulch for your next gardening or landscaping project.

Types of Wood Mulch

Different varieties of wood are used in mulches, each with their own uses. Mulch breaks down over time, so using a mulch that will release the right nutrients into the soil is important. Also, some mulches will decay faster, which is not always preferable.  Here are a few of the more popular mulch types and how they are often used: 

  • Pine bark mulch. Typically, the quickest-decaying mulches are those made from pine bark. Since it will break down quickly, it is best used around trees or plants which do best with an acid rich soil.
     
  • Red oak mulch. Red oak mulch will last longer than pine bark before it begins to decay. Many people prefer the natural color of the red oak.
     
  • Cypress mulch. For playgrounds and other walking areas, cypress mulch is used due to its ability to repel mud and insects.
     
  • Dyed mulches. For aesthetic appeal, many people prefer dyed mulches to accent their gardens and yards. Dyed mulches also break down slower than both pine and red oak mulches. 

To ensure you get the best mulch for whatever project you are undertaking, consult with your local landscape supplier. They can advise you about which mulch will work best for your needs, and give you pointers on how to apply it.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Time To Add That Fall Mulch!

Mulch is not just for springtime planting and landscape projects. With colder months ahead, mulch should also be added in the fall to protect your plants from harsher weather.  Mulch will insulate the roots of your trees and plants to give them extra protection from the winter cold. However, there are correct ways and times to add mulch to your landscaping in the fall. 

When To Add Fall Mulch

The trick to adding mulch in the fall is not to add it too early. You don’t want to over-insulate the roots of your plants before temperatures begin to drop. The extra insulation adds heat, promoting new growth which is not necessarily good late in the season. Too much new growth can leave your plants vulnerable to stress once the colder weather hits. 

The best time to add mulch for the winter is in the late fall, after the first frost. Once it begins to reach those colder temperatures at night, it is safe to add an extra layer of protection. The first frost should be your indication it’s time to head to your local landscape supply store and purchase your mulch for fall. 

Where To Place Mulch

For the fall, mulch should be added around trees to protect the roots. In addition, you can use mulch over planting areas, like flower beds, where you have bulbs planted or perennial flowers that will come back in the spring. 

How Much Mulch To Add

For winter protection, a layer of three to four inches of mulch is usually adequate. Reduce the depth near the stems of plants or trunks of trees, increasing the depth as you spread the mulch over the extending root areas. Once spring arrives, you should remove this layer of mulch to allow healthy growth.

Posted on behalf of Find Local Landscape Supply

Getting The Most From Your Mulch

Do you know when to mulch, what type to use and how much is needed for your landscaping projects? Mulch is used to retain moisture and nutrients in the soil while preventing weed growth. While mulch is made from a variety of organic materials such as grass, leaves and even paper, one of the most useful and aesthetically pleasing is tree or bark mulch. However, there is a right way to apply mulch, along with benefits to using certain types of bark mulches for different projects. 

Choosing Your Mulch

Mulch can be made from any type of tree, but there are certain types that are more popular to use for mulch. Hardwood trees are often ground to become mulch, with some mulches containing a variety of different types of trees while others are made from a specific tree or bark. Some specific uses for mulch may require buying the right blend for your needs. 

  • Playgrounds. Mulch is often used for playgrounds at schools, parks and daycare facilities. In some states, mulch must meet certain certifications to be used in play areas. Cypress mulch is often an excellent choice for these areas as it does not break down as quickly, making it excellent for reducing mud.
     
  • Trees. To protects roots, reduce weeds and retain moisture around trees and shrubs, pine bark mulch is often an excellent choice. Usually 2” of mulch replaced annually will be sufficient to keep trees and shrub bases protected.
     
  • Aesthetics. If you are using mulch to as an aesthetic enhancer to your yard more than to create topsoil, dyed mulches are a great choice. These mulches are often made from hardwood and dyed a variety of colors to compliment your yard. 

To ensure you get the right mulch in the right amount, talk to your local landscape supply store. They can help you choose the best mulch for your project, as well as give you tips on how to maintain it over the years.

Posted on behalf of Clayton Hulen, Green Brothers Earth Works

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Landscaping Essentials: Mulch

One of the single most important tools for keeping your landscape beautiful and healthy is the proper application of mulch. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most commonly neglected aspects of landscape maintenance. Mulching your flower beds, trees and shrubbery offers a wide variety of benefits, and can help you to keep your landscape design looking its best throughout the year. 

What is Mulch?

Available in a wide range of materials, mulch is a term used to describe any material spread around the roots of a plant. Organic mulch is made up of plant materials like straw, pine needles, bark, leaves and grass clippings. Inorganic mulch includes manufactured materials, stones, gravel and rock. 

Inorganic mulch typically does not break down over time, which means it doesn’t need to be replaced as often. The primary drawback of inorganic mulch, however, is the fact that because it doesn’t break down, it also doesn’t turn into nutrient-rich compost. 

Why is Mulch Important?

There are many reason why mulching is important for your garden and overall landscape design. Properly applied mulch helps to prevent soil erosion, inhibits the growth of weeds and lends a more finished look to your design. Mulch also slows the evaporation of moisture from plant roots, which allows you to water less often without sacrificing the health of your plants. 

Groundcover crops like clover and purslane can also be effective living mulches, with nitrogen-fixing properties to encourage healthy plant growth while still inhibiting the growth of weeds. Consult your landscaping professional to discuss living mulch options for your landscaping design, or to determine which alternatives would be better suited to your unique design.

Posted on behalf of Clayton Hulen, Green Brothers Earth Works

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Choosing the Right Mulch for Your Landscape

There’s no such thing as an one-size-fits-all mulch.

Your understanding of the various attributes of different types of mulch will help you select the right mulch for your landscape. And, the first distinction or decision you’ll want to make is whether your situation calls for “summer (growing) mulch” or “winter mulch.”

Summer or Winter Mulch

Summer (growing) mulch is typically applied in the spring, after the soil has begun to warm.  Summer mulch is used mostly to: 

  • Reduce the growth of weeds
  • Keep the soil moist
  • Keep the soil evenly warm throughout the summer

Winter mulch is typically applied in the fall, after the soil begins to cool. Shredded leaves, straw, and pine mulch make for good winter mulches. Winter mulch is used mostly to:

  • Insulate woody plants
  • Ensure the soil is evenly cool during the winter

Location

Your next consideration is deciding which mulch is best for your location.  Following are helpful examples of matching mulch to a specific location.

  • Vegetable gardens and small fruit plans commonly require straw, with black plastic
  • Shrub beds and the area around trees are suited well for pine bark mulch chunks, wood chips, and pine needles
  • Annual and perennial beds can be made attractive with fine mulches such as cocoa shells, buckwheat hulls, wood shavings, and bark granules.
  • Rock gardens look more natural with crushed stone or fine gravel mulches

Cost and Availability

Cost and availability are certainly two other considerations when choosing a mulch.

Some mulches are “regional,” only available in regions where they’re processed.  Buckwheat and cocoa are quite attractive, but they are also “regional” and much more expensive than bark or wood chips.

Posted on behalf of Clayton Hulen, Green Brothers Earth Works

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