Mulch is great to use around tress, bushes, and in your garden beds. This covering of mulch will slow evaporation from your soil and keep your soil cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Mulch will also help with slow the weeds from growing. However, it is best to add a contractor grade fabric to really stop the weeds from growing.

What is Mulch

Being made from tree bark mulch is a waste material from manufacturers that are recycled and sold to not waste that portion of the tree. Seeing this is a waste product, it is available at a nominal price, which allows everyone to enjoy its benefits. While there are some mulching alternatives made with gardening in mind not coming from a waste product, they are more expensive. One of the best properties it offers is how absorbent it is, which makes it the right tool for the job.

Types of Mulch

Mulch is available from three different trees: cedar, pine, and hemlock. Each of these owning its own characteristics. Read the descriptions below to see which is best for you.

Cedar

Cedar is a great for fruit trees because of its ability to keep away bugs and insects. This is possible because of the oil that cedar releases that bugs hate. However, this cedar does compact after heavy rains so, you will want to rake it to allow oxygen into the mulch so it does not mold.

Pine

Pine does not compact like cedar mulch, offering a less maintenance option. It also keeps moisture well and protects the soil from temperature changes. Packed full of nutrients, pine mulch will add some needed food to your plants. Because of the lack of oils, it decays quicker than cedar and does not help with pests.

Hemlock

Hemlock is great for fruit trees because of its nutrients, like vitamin C, that it adds to the soil. Like Cedar it also has oils that keep away pests. While also being a better option for not allowing as many weeds to grow through. What makes Hemlock the most coveted are its vibrant colors that don't fade quickly.

How Long does Bark Mulch Last

They make mulch from tree bark, so it is biodegradable. Eventually, it will decay and you will have to replace it with more fresh product. To replace it, you need to remove the existing product completely. If new and old are mixed the new mulch will decay at a faster rate compared to it only being new.

Mulch can last long time, especially if we do not bother it. You can expect mulch to last up to 7 years with proper maintenance. To slow the decaying process, it is wise to water the mulch regularly. Yet, because most homeowners don’t want the expense of water, in most cases it will need to be replaced every 1 to 2 years. Another factor to consider is the color of the mulch. If colored, the dye will fade and if not dyed, the sun will fade the mulch.

Pros

Growth: Studies show it can almost double the speed plants grow.

Water: It allows you to save time and money by reducing water evaporation.

Nutrients: They add nutrients to your soil as it breaks down.

Weeds: Can stop up to 50 % of the weed seeds from germinating.

Temperature: Allows the plant roots to stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Compaction and Erosion: It decreases erosion by 85 percent. Not to mention most people won’t walk on mulch, creating less soil compaction.

Cons

Recurring Cost: Depending on which one you purchase, you will need to replace it every 1 to 4 years.

Not Too Much: By adding over 2-3 inches of the product can stress out your plants.

Too Early: Applying too early can slow the ground from warming, this means you will see blooms later in the year.

Too Late: This product stops weeds from germinating. However, if you wait too late, the weeds will have germinated already and it will not stop them.

Seeds: Some, like pine bark, can come with seeds in it causing addition weeds to grow.

 

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