The Forsythia are golden and aglow.  The Daffodils stand tall and proud with slightly tilted heads, while the Crabapples and Magnolia explode with blooms that fill the air with their ethereal scent.  Much has happened in a week, and from here on out, the landscape will constantly change with each flower and plant having its turn.

Now that we’ve begun to clean and tidy our yards and perhaps even mow, it’s time we think about adding and/or replenishing the one constant that every landscape needs.  It’s both functional and beautiful.  It helps pull a landscape together with a “finished” look while maintaining soil temperatures, suppressing weed growth, exploiting moisture and mitigating its loss to the elements.  It’s the panacea of the garden.  It’s a must have in the world of must haves.  Mulch.

Ok, so maybe you already knew the benefits of mulch, but did you know there are different types for different uses at different price points?  Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and common mulch types:

Hardwood Bark Mulch  Hardwood Bark – Nutrient rich, double shredded mulch made from the bark only.  It’s dark brown and has a slightly sweet scent.  Hardwood bark mulch is helpful in building the organic structure of soil.  Best when used around trees and shrubs.

Hardwood Bark Fines  Hardwood Bark Fines – Nutrient rich, triple shredded mulch made from the bark only.  It’s dark brown with a fine texture and a slightly sweet scent.  Hardwood Bark Fines are especially helpful in building the organic structure of soil as its fine texture helps it break down faster.  Best when used around perennials, flowers, and vegetable gardens.  Can also be used around trees and shrubs.

Double Shredded Mulch  Double Shredded Mulch – Made from all parts of a tree and double shredded, it’s dark brown with an earthy scent.  Double Shredded Mulch is especially helpful in moderating soil temperatures, retaining moisture, and controlling weed growth.  Best when used around structures, fence lines, and “right of way” areas.  Can also be used around trees, shrubs, etc.  This is a good, all-purpose mulch that is budget-friendly.

Triple Shredded Mulch  Triple Shredded Mulch – Made from all parts of a tree and triple shredded, it’s dark brown with a fine texture and earthy scent.  Triple Shredded Mulch is especially helpful in moderating soil temperatures, retaining moisture, and controlling weed growth.  Best when used around trees, shrubs, perennials, and flowers.  This is a good mulch to use around plants that is budget-friendly.

Brown Dyed Mulch  Brown Dyed Mulch – Made from all parts of a tree that is dyed with an EPA approved product that is safe for people, pets, and plants.  It is dark brown with no discernible odor and seems to hold its color well.  Brown Dyed Mulch is helpful in moderating soil temperatures, retaining moisture, and controlling weed growth.  Best when used around structures, fence lines, and “right of way” areas.  Can also be used around trees, shrubs, etc.  This is a good, all-purpose mulch.

Red Dyed Mulch  Red Dyed Mulch – Made from pallets that are dyed with an EPA approved product that is safe for people, pets, and plants.  It is red with no discernible odor that seems to hold its color well.  Red Dyed Mulch is helpful in moderating soil temperatures, retaining moisture, and controlling weed growth.  Best when used around structures, fence lines, and “right of way” areas.  Can also be used around trees, shrubs, etc.  CAUTION:  This mulch has a strong appearance in the landscape.  Eyes are drawn directly to the red mulch and away from plants, etc.

Cedar Mulch  Michigan Cedar Mulch – Made from all parts of a Michigan Cedar tree, it’s light brown with a coarse texture and a very pleasant “cedar chest” scent that seems to hold its color well.  Michigan Cedar Mulch is especially helpful in moderating soil temperatures, retaining moisture, and controlling weed growth.  It is also reported to discourage insects.  Can be used any where mulch is typically used.

*Did you know that 1 cubic yard of mulch will cover approximately 160 square feet at 2″ deep?

Of course, there are many more types of mulch, but these are certainly the most common and readily available.  Call Sweeney’s today with your mulch order.  It’s an important addition to any landscape and is aesthetically pleasing as well.  If you do nothing else this year, add or replenish your mulch.  It’s one of the best things you can do for your soil, flowers, trees, shrubs, vegetable and perennial gardens.

“The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.”

-Hanna Rion

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney