- Mulching is about retaining moisture in the soil and protecting roots in winter. Fine-textured mulches hold moisture better than coarse-textured mulches.
- Good mulches to use are pine straw, bark chips or ground hardwood mulch. Avoid large nugget pine bark, rock, gravel and marble.
- If you have pine straw, add enough mulch to bring the level back to 3″. If you use bark, a 1″ – 2″ final thickness is adequate.
- Do not place the mulch right up to the base of the plant but leave a few inches of space between the mulch and the plant crown.
- Be sure to kill that turf around the base of trees situated in your lawn and place a mulch ring around the base. This will prevent lawn mower and weed eater damage.
- Both pine straw and bark have advantages and disadvantages. Considerations such as surface water flow (bark will float) and general cosmetic preferences are all things to be considered.
- We do not recommend the use of grass clippings or sawdust for mulches as they can mat and actually seal the soil surface to water penetration. If you come across some free wood chips, you can use them as a mulch. New research indicates that these uncomposted tree chips will not rob your plant of nitrogen or cause overheating as they compost.
- Thick layers of rotted mulch around the crowns of the plant can cause deterioration issues in the crown which can lead to plant decline. Every 2 to 3 years check your old mulch layer and rake out any rotted mulch and replace with fresh mulch.
- Proper mulching is just one, important component of the path to healthy plants.
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