To mulch or not to mulch?  See, I’ve got that Shakespeare thing going.  The answer is, of course, mulch!

Mulch can be the answer to many of our landscape and garden issues – a panacea of sorts.  How, you may ask?  Mulch helps maintain moisture and reduces evaporation; thereby, minimizing the need for watering and capitalizing on what moisture naturally falls to the ground.  Mulch also helps control weeds by suppressing germination.  It is also a great insulator and can improve soil aeration and drainage.  Mulch can reduce the likelihood of damage from lawn mowers and weed trimmers when the equipment gets too close, and lastly, mulch helps give planting beds and tree rings a uniform and manicured look – easy on the eyes and aesthetically pleasing.

What exactly is mulch?  Mulch can be defined as any material used on the surface of the soil, including organic materials such as wood chips, straw, pine needles, cocoa hulls, peat moss and lawn clippings.  Inorganic mulches include river rock, shredded rubber, volcanic rock and synthetic fabrics.  Organic mulches are preferred and more widely used.  They are also more cost-effective, but the choice is ultimately yours.
Mulch should be spread at a depth of 2-4″.    Do not exceed 6″ in-depth.  For trees, the larger the mulched area, the better, as it should reach at least the drip line (i.e. the outer perimeter of the branches); however, never mound the mulch up around the base, also known as “volcano” mulching.  This can promote disease on the lower trunk as the tree’s bark is no longer exposed to the air and light.  The bark will begin to rot, and the rotten bark can no longer protect the tree from insects and disease.  “Volcanic” mulching also promotes the growth of secondary roots which can encircle the trunk and choke off the main roots.  This type of mulching won’t kill a tree immediately, but will lead to a slow, unnecessary death.
Most any time is a good time to mulch, but many people like to mulch or re-mulch in Spring.  Call Sweeney’s today, and let us provide and install that “cure-all”.  You’ll be glad you did.

“Friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often – just to save it from drying out completely.”

– Pam Brown

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney