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If you’re thinking about mulching your yard, you’ve probably been wondering whether it’s worth the hassle. After all, there are several reasons to mulch your lawn.
Woody mulches, for example, feed the soil and prevent weeds, while preventing moisture and termites. Read on to learn more about the benefits of woody mulches. Here’s a look at three main reasons you should mulch your yard:
Woody mulches feed the soil
There are many reasons to use woody mulch around the garden. Besides providing organic matter to the soil, wood can also reduce weeds and hold moisture. You can use woody mulch as a base layer for a new planting or as a top-dressing for an existing tree. It’s best to use compost sparingly around trees, as it is more akin to dirt. However, you can apply compost on top of wood mulch if you’re concerned about weeds.
Woody mulches contain organic matter that has decomposed and is fully absorbed by the soil. This organic matter is called humus in forests. It’s what makes the soil in forests nutrient-rich. These soil particles are alive and are full of beneficial microorganisms. However, the nutrients they release into the soil are not immediately available to the plants. For this reason, woody mulches should be used sparingly around trees and shrubs.
In addition to being biodegradable, woody mulches can be used in a garden without causing problems for existing plants. They can be applied fresh around plants, but if you are planting trees and shrubs, you should wait a few years before you apply them. You should also avoid using plastic mulch in your garden because it is not suited for landscape use and decomposes quickly. Stone mulches are widely used in the south-western US, but are not as beneficial for the soil as an arborist chip.
While wood chips are good for a vegetable garden, they’re not a good choice for planting a newly seeded perennial or an annual flower bed. For vegetables and annual flowers, you’ll want to use fully composted mulch. On the other hand, fresh wood chips are fine for mulching around an established plant’s root system. Wood chips are safe and don’t spread disease or insect pests.
They protect against termites
Did you know that mulch protects against termites? The main reason is because termites like damp wood. They usually feed on decaying logs and dead tree stumps. While mulch does not provide a suitable tunneling material, dampwood termites are less likely to infest a building. Since dampwood termites prefer wood that’s moist or organic, mulch protects against termites by preventing their entry.
While mulch can help protect against termites, it’s not a 100% guarantee. There are many misconceptions surrounding the issue, and not all of them are accurate. Some people believe that mulch contains termites while others think it attracts them. There is no definitive link, but knowing the difference between mulch and termites is a great place to start. Knowing the facts about termite behavior is vital to protect your home from infestation.
Whether mulch protects against termites depends on the type of mulch you use. Certain types repel spiders, but cedar does not. Other types repel spiders, but most aren’t bothered by cedar mulch. Also, some types of mulch attract spiders. Its moisture content and other characteristics make it a prime attraction for spiders. Ultimately, though, mulch protects against termites in two ways.
Mulch protects against termites by deterring mud from splashing against the foundation of your home. It also allows the soil beneath it to dry naturally. Moisture is a termite’s number one enemy. It’s important to maintain other termite protection measures, including soil treatments and bait systems. Additionally, you should avoid letting wood touch the ground. This can lead to termite infestation.
They prevent weeds
If you’re wondering whether or not you should mulch your lawn, you should consider the amount of mulch you need to cover your property. A few inches of mulch will cover about two square feet of your lawn, and it will block about 5% of the sun’s light. A good rule of thumb is to use two to four inches of mulch. You can also cover the area with a layer of plastic edging to keep the mulch from blowing away, and add water to the top to prevent weeds from growing there.
If you’re worried about weeds, don’t use wood chips or shredded bark. These are often contaminated with weed seeds and salts. Wood chips, on the other hand, may resist water and prevent weed growth because of their lignin and waxes. Besides, these materials make it difficult to hoe weeds. Therefore, it is important to remove these mulches before weeding your yard.
While mulch is a great way to keep plants cool and prevent weeds, it is not something you want to use too close to your house. It can trap moisture and invite insects, disease, and rot. It’s better to leave a few inches of space around the stems of your plants so that water doesn’t get into them. In addition, if you’re adding mulch to prevent weeds, you might want to consider using a different type of mulch.
Decorative stone and crushed shells are both great options for warm-weather landscaping. Cedar mulch, for example, tends to resist insect activity and lasts longer than wood chips. Cedar mulch, on the other hand, is popular in our area because it is inexpensive, easy to install, and has several advantages. Cedar mulch will retain soil moisture, regulate temperature, and be a natural insect repellent. Aside from being a great mulch, cedar and wood chips also add important nutrients to the soil. Some types of shredded mulch will compact after heavy winter snows, and a raking in the spring will be needed to fluff it up.
They control moisture
In addition to controlling moisture in your yard, mulch is also attractive to pests. Ants are attracted to moist areas, and they will build nests under mulch. If your yard is full of mulch, the ants might also move into your home. In such a case, you can use ant baits, or hire a professional exterminator to get rid of the problem. But remember to check the mulch often.
When shopping for mulch, check the type and quality. Some types contain chemicals, while others contain recycled wood pallets. Choose a reputable company that does not use demolition debris, because it could contain chemicals and harmful substances. If the mulch is dyed, it is most likely made from carbon black, which is not healthy for plants. Another source of carbon black is vegetable oil. Aside from being toxic to pets, carbon black can also cause the soil to be warmer, which may increase your house’s temperature.
Mulch also helps plants hold on to moisture. Therefore, you may need to water less often. If you have a clogged irrigation system, you can use a soaker hose to water plants. The water will reach the roots more effectively, and the soil will remain moist and lush. Another benefit of mulch is that it helps reduce evaporation and reduces the impact of water droplets on the ground. It is especially useful in areas where winds are strong, because it helps prevent soil erosion.
Mulch is essential for your yard. They help keep soil moist by preventing water from running directly to the ground. It also helps prevent soil crusting. This is an important feature because water evaporates and leaves the soil crusted with dissolved minerals. Furthermore, mulch helps the earthworms in your garden thrive by providing food. The earthworms help the soil absorb more water, and a thick layer of mulch also prevents the reproduction of insects.
Some mulch does attract insects though
You probably don’t want mulch touching your house, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it. Insects love moist places and wood mulch is no different. Not only does it hold enough moisture to keep insects at bay, but it also provides an ideal nesting ground for spiders and other critters. However, some types of mulch actually attract these bugs. So, be aware of what you’re doing before adding mulch to your home.
Wood chip mulch, for example, is loaded with ants. While wood doesn’t call for an insect convention, the moisture in wood mulch is conducive to termite colony growth. These critters may move into your house when they’re foraging for food, so you should protect your house from ants. If you’re concerned about termites, you might want to consider hiring an exterminator.
Mosquitoes are another common pest that enjoys a warm, moist environment. Fortunately, the moist conditions in mulch make it an attractive habitat. These creatures are usually not a major problem, but the presence of termites in mulch is a cause for concern. Fortunately, they don’t usually cause damage, but they may use the mulch as a way to get into your home.
While mulch does improve the appearance of your lawn, it can also attract a variety of insects, including cockroaches. Roaches are particularly attracted to wood-based materials, and mulch is no exception. They like moisture and hiding places. You may be surprised to discover that a roach will build a nest in your mulch! So, it’s better to avoid mulching your home! So, before you start putting down mulch, be sure to aerate the soil and mulch around your house.