Synthetic mulches, such as landscape fabric, provide no benefit to your soil, but can be a good choice if you're intention is purely to improve the aesthetics of your garden. Organic mulches consist of natural materials that break down over time and add nutrients into your soil. There are several types of organic mulch and each type has its own advantages. Here's an overview of five types of organic mulch for your garden:
Fresh manure should never be used as a mulch, as it contains harmful pathogens. However, composted manure is safe and particularly good for vegetable beds, as it contains vital nutrients for healthy plant growth including phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium. It's also a good mulch to use on autumn and winter beds, as it will act as an insulator and prevent delicate plant roots being damaged by dropping temperatures.
Bark can be an ideal choice when you want to prevent soil from drying out, as it absorbs rainwater and releases it slowly. It's a long-lasting mulch, as it takes a while to decompose, so it's best suited to areas of your garden that don't have to be disturbed often, such as around trees and shrubs. It's not the best choice for use on vegetable gardens, as it's fidgety to move the bark pieces aside when planting and won't typically be broken down in time for the following year's growing season.
Newspaper can be an effective mulch for all varieties of plants. Simply layer around half a dozen sheets of newspaper on a flowerbed or vegetable plot and then cover with a thin layer of compost or topsoil to hold the newspaper in place. The newspaper can suppress weeds and prevent soil from drying out, even during hot summer months.
Using grass clippings is an inexpensive option, but grass breaks down quickly and mats together to prevent water from reaching the soil underneath. This makes grass clippings a poor choice of mulch for vegetable or flower beds, but it can be a good choice for any areas where you want to suppress weeds, such as walkways between flowerbeds.
Shredded leaves are ideal for mulching beds during the autumn months, as they will decompose and add nutrients to your soil before it's time to plant in the beds the following spring. Additionally, worms are attracted by this type of mulch, and worms improve soil quality.
If you're unsure of the best mulch for your garden, your local garden centre can recommend a type based on what you grow and how you use your garden over the course of the year.
For more information, reach out to a company that offers mulch delivery services.