Finding the right mulch for your garden can be a tough job. If you’re in the dark about what differentiates different mulch products, finding the right choice can be even harder. There are many different benefits and drawbacks associated with every mulch product, after all. If you’re ready to supercharge your garden’s output, you need to educate yourself first. To assist you, here is a handy guide to choosing the right mulch for your garden’s unique needs:
The Two Core Types of Mulch:
There are two core types of mulch products gardeners need to know about. They both have unique benefits and can push your garden’s growth to new heights. Despite their names, both organic and inorganic mulch products can be incredibly useful. Finding mulch near you can be much simpler than you ever thought possible! Knowing which type is best for your gardening needs is the first step:
1. Organic Mulch
Organic mulches are perfect for part-time fertilizers, are often cheaper, and can even be harvested from your own land and recyclable materials in some cases. They help to replenish your garden’s plants with nutrients and can be directly tilled into your soil to strengthen it. That being said, organic mulch decomposes quickly and needs to be replaced much more often than inorganic mulch. Many people prefer organic mulch for its beautiful, natural-looking aesthetic.
2. Inorganic Mulch
While inorganic mulch does not provide extra fertilizer and nutrients for your garden, it is incredibly cost-effective and does not need to be replaced often (and sometimes not at all). Typically, you’ll need to replace it only once a year, if not much less often. The low-maintenance nature of inorganic mulch makes it appealing to gardeners as well. That being said, it’s not nearly as beautiful as organic mulch (in most cases, that is).
The Best Organic Mulch:
1. Pine Straw Mulch
Although it sounds complex, pine straw mulch is, in reality, just dried pine needles. If you live nearby pine trees, you can gather them up to save money. The incredibly shiny, beautiful look of pine straw mulch has made it gain popularity over the last few decades. Even if you end up buying pine straw mulch, it’s known for being incredibly affordable, making it perfect for budget-conscious consumers.
2. Compost Mulch
Compost mulch covers a wide range of recyclable mulches. Organic compost mulches are typically made using animal manure, newspaper, food scraps, and other similar materials. The biggest benefit of compost mulch is its incredibly nutrient-rich nature. However, it needs to be replenished fairly often. For those that live on farms, the highly accessible nature of compost mulch has made it a popular choice.
3. Leaf Mulch
Leaf mulch, or shredded leaf mulch, is made using dried leaves. Not only is it nutrient-rich, but it also gives your garden a uniquely “organic” look. If you want your garden to appear as though it naturally grew in the middle of the woods, you want to invest in leaf mulch. Once again, however, you can gather up your own leaf mulch materials if you live nearby a lucious forest setting. Being able to spread leaf mulch properly takes patience, however, so prepare yourself!
The Best Inorganic Mulch:
1. Rubber Mulch
If you’re planting your garden full of succulents and other plants that need little-to-no moisture (and maintenance), rubber mulch is the perfect mulch option for you. Not only does it have a modern look that will impress your neighbors, but it’s affordable (and rarely needs to be replaced unless it’s damaged). Home gardeners in the southwest have been some of the biggest fans of rubber mulch in the last ten years.
2. Pumice Rock
Have you ever wanted to use repurposed lava rock? If so, pumice rock can help you achieve your dreams while keeping your garden hyper-healthy. Although you’ll want to use a base of organic mulch when using pumice rock, this inorganic mulch product provides a perfect top layer that will support plant growth and health.
3. Plastic Mulch
Lastly, plastic mulch is one of the most affordable ways to promote heat and moisture going straight into your soil. The easy-to-install product is stretched tightly across your topsoil and ensures your plants grow to the best of their abilities.
Perfect Your Mulch Use
With this handy guide, you can easily perfect the way you apply mulch to your garden. Both home gardeners and commercial gardeners can benefit from the amazing information contained in this guide. With the right amount of dedication, knowledge, and planning, you can make your garden look more stunning than you ever thought possible.