Mulch is rather pleasing because of the way it looks. It holds a neat and clean look. This allows your garden to have a finished look and drastically improves the appeal. However, this is not the only benefit of the different mulch types. The different mulch styles help:
- Prevent soil erosion.
- Add nutrients to the soil.
- Retain moisture and control weeds.
When you are trying to choose which mulch types to use, you will see that there are several different options. Here is a brief view of the many different mulch styles and each one’s advantages and disadvantages:
- The most common mulch types are made of wood chips, which can generally be found in the garden center. This mulch is simple to work with and gives many of the advantages that were listed previously. Unseasoned wood chips are advantageous than recycled wood chips. They give off acids and toxins that can harm new plants. The plants can also develop fungal contamination. The best option is to use wood chips that have an age of a minimum of 1 year. Learn more about cedar mulch.
- Leaves also provide wonderful mulching type. Their advantages are that they don’t cost anything and if there are a lot of trees near you, then you are guaranteed to have a full supply each fall. The disadvantage is the leaves might take longer to start decomposing. These leaves will blow away easily or become matted during the rain. It is best to dry out your leaves before using them. After they have dried out, you should crumple or crush them to eliminate these disadvantages.
- Another mulch is straw. It can be found in the leftover stems after grain crops have been harvested. The most important advantage of straw is that it covers the ground well. The unplanted garden patches and newly seeded lawns in particular need mulching. However, there are a few disadvantages of using a straw. Since straw is very light, it can blow away easily. Furthermore, it can decompose quickly and will have to be replaced often. Straw mulch is best used in an area that doesn’t require protection or cover for a long period of time.
- Another great mulch type is shredded paper or newspaper. This mulch is great for vegetable gardens. The advantages are that you can find newspapers rather easily and the decomposition is quick. The main disadvantages are that it is not that attractive when it comes to landscaping and the ink color could harm your plants. If you are going to use this option, be sure not to use the comic section or sections that contain ink colors. Don’t use magazines due to the glossy paper.
- An additional form of mulch is pine needles. There are many advantages you get by using pine needles. They are a great attraction for many landscaping designs. They also can retain moisture. Strong rains will not keep them from staying in place. There are only a few disadvantages. Pine straws can be difficult to find if you have to purchase them and the acid levels in the soil tend to increase. However, there are some plants that do well with high acid levels. Therefore pine needles will work fantastically.
- The last type of mulch is landscape fabric, which can be bought in most garden centers in rolls and is referred to as geotextile. There are many advantages of landscape fabric such as weed control. The free airflow and moisture can get through into the soil and below it. The biggest disadvantage of this mulch is that the plant's roots can penetrate the fabric, which can make it difficult to remove. This fabric is excellent for larger areas and can be used with permanent structures like a deck or patio.