March for Mulch

We Americans are a competitive bunch. We have contests for just about everything, from hot dog eating to cherry pit spitting. And though we're sure some people are competitive about their yards, we think they should be a peaceful or fun sanctuary from the rat race of competition. That said if yards competed like football teams, and your yard won the Superbowl, mulch would be the MVP. Mulching is the ultimate team player. It helps and accentuates every other aspect of your landscaping, and while people admire the trees and flowers in your Kingwood yard, mulch is content to support them. So today, Cut' n Edge is giving mulch its day in the sun. Here are all the ways that mulch helps improve your property. Weed Barrier Perhaps mulch's most famous function, and one of the more relevant ones this time of year, is as a weed barrier. When your ground is covered, it's harder for weeds to find a place to grow. Of course, we always recommend filling your landscape with the plants you love, so the ones you don't have any room for, but part of the beauty of flower gardens is the contrast of the space between flowers. Applying mulch to your flower beds does two things for weeding: it makes it harder for weeds to grow, and it makes it easier for you to see the weeds that do develop. When you see a loan pop up against your dark mulch backdrop, removing it is quick and easy work. Win-win! dark Mulch in Kingwood garden Aesthetic Artists and decorators talk about the importance of "negative space," or the area intentionally left empty. We briefly alluded to this above when discussing mulching flower beds. Your flowers need space between them for their health and to stand out. In addition to creating that space, mulch creates a contrasting color backdrop to help your flowers stand out. Many homeowners love dark landscaping because it helps your lighter colors show better. But if you have darker-colored landscaping, a lighter palette for your mulch may be appropriate. Finally, part of landscape design is creating contrasting textures. Mulch elegantly accomplishes this with rough tree bark, round shells, smooth polished glass, or whatever material you use in your gardens. Water Retention Your plants need water to survive, but without an irrigation system, you can't water them where they drink. When we water our flowers, we pour the water over them to get the water to their roots. Unfortunately, due to evaporation and runoff, some of that water never makes it to its destination. Mulching helps to solve this problem. When you mulch, you create a temporary water-absorbent layer that percolates the water down to your plants. Insulator Winter is on its way out. If your plants survived, it's likely due in part to mulch. Mulch insulates your plants, protecting them during weather extremes. In the winter, that means preventing roots from freezing. During the summer, it prevents the hot sun from burning tender leaves and shoots. Mulch on a blue tarp in Kingwood yard Pest Repellant Perhaps the most little-known use for mulch is repelling pests. While not every mulch works for every critter you don't want in your gardens, you should have no trouble finding a mulch variety that works for whatever is bugging your flowers are veggies. Mulching repels in two ways - texture and scent. Texture Many soft-bodied animals, such as slugs, can be deterred from entering your garden through texture alone. If you have leaves or fruits you need to protect, putting down anything rough or jagged will do the trick. Scent Cedar mulch is a favorite for vegetable gardens because its scent repels many of the animals you want to keep away from your crops. Examples of animals that hate cedar include ants, termites, roaches, crickets, and slugs. If you have specific pests you have questions about, ask! Fertilizer On its way out, mulch does one final favor for your plants. As it breaks down, it becomes food. As your mulch deteriorates, it becomes valuable fertilizer. But, of course, this is only true for your organic mulches, as manufactured mulch will not break down. Let Cut n' Edge Provide You with Mulching Mulching isn't the most glamorous landscaping task, but it's toward the top of the most vital for your property. And unlike other outdoor chores, it's just as important in warm weather as in the cold. The reasons for doing it change, but its necessity doesn't. As we prepare your gardens with new landscape installations, be sure you're also thinking about what mulch will look best in your yard.