A thick layer of mulch is an effective way to reduce your plants’ water needs. A few inches of mulch insulates the soil and helps to keep it from drying out. As our summers get hotter and drier, mulch is increasingly important to help keep your plants and trees from getting drought stress.
We have seen more trees with drought stress in recent years. We fear the trees may eventually die without water. Even mature trees need deep watering at least once a month in summer. Mulch will help the soil around the trees to retain water.
Don’t wait until summer to put down mulch. We generally add mulch to our clients’ landscapes in spring, when the soil is still cool and the soil profile has plenty of water.
If you want to add mulch now, apply it after it has rained hard. Or water the soil deeply before you lay down the mulch. This will help to retain water in the soil.
Other benefits of mulch
Mulch has many other benefits for the garden. Mulch:
- Greatly reduces weed growth. A thick layer of mulch reduces the amount of sunlight reaching weeds, preventing them from germinating. This reduces the amount of work you have to do to keep landscape beds looking good.
- Protects the soil from extremes of cold and hot weather by providing insulation.
- Feeds earthworms, microbes and other beneficial soil life. Your plants will be healthier in healthy soil.
- Helps prevent the spread of soil-borne diseases like anthracnose and black spot. Mulch prevents splashing of plant disease organisms onto plants and flowers during rain or overhead irrigation.
- Breaks the force of rain and irrigation water, which prevents erosion, soil compaction and crusting.
- Adds an attractive feature to landscape beds.
Check out our YouTube video on types of mulch and how to use them.
And see this article on mulches for water conservation.
Contact us if you are interested in having us add mulch to your landscape.