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How To Create A Better Bedding Environment For Growing Healthy Landscape And Garden Plants

by April Carlson

When you are planting garden vegetables or new landscaping beds in your yard, make sure you add a mulch layer over the soil. Mulching has many benefits for your soil, which help to promote the growth of your plants. Here is information about why you should mulch and tips to help you do it.

Improve Your Landscaping

Laying mulch over the top of your soil can add many benefits to your landscaping or gardening. First, mulch prevents weeds from growing in your soil, stealing water and nutrients from your plants. A layer of mulch prevents weeds from finding their way to the soil beneath, preventing them from germinating. If weed seeds germinate in your mulch layer, their roots won't grow very deeply, so they will be easy for you to pull.

Mulch also protects your soil, as it prevents and reduces soil erosion during rainy weather and watering, allowing the water to soak into the soil easier. It also prevents your soil from compacting during rain storms, allowing your plant's roots to grow better in the loose and non-compacted soil. 

Mulch helps hold moisture in the soil, preventing evaporation in the sunshine. This can help you save money on water for your landscape and garden irrigation, as you won't have to water as frequently. Mulch also acts as an insulation barrier to the soil's temperature, preventing extreme temperature changes in the soil during times of cold weather or extreme heat.

Mulch Your Bedding Soil 

Mulch Timing

After you plant your landscaping or vegetable plants, spread a layer of mulch right after. But, if you are planting and mulching in early spring, be sure to wait until the soil warms to an appropriate temperature for what you are planting. Applying mulch too soon can prevent the soil from warming, so your plants will be less likely to survive. For example, peppers and cucumbers need a soil temperature of at least 65 degrees F to grow. Corn and tomatoes need a soil temperature of at least 55 degrees F. You can find a soil thermometer at most garden stores to check your soil's temperature. 

If you are adding mulch to any existing bedding areas, make sure you weed the soil before adding mulch. Although mulch can help prevent and reduce weed growth, any existing weeds already growing in the soil will remain and can grow up through your layer of mulch, continuing to be a problem.

Mulch Options

Choosing the type of mulch you add onto your soil around the plants depends on your preference and what types of materials you have available. You can add materials such as bark chips, shredded wood, grass clippings, or leaves that have fallen from your trees. 

By renting a wood chipper, you can chop or shred tree branches into shredded or chipped wood mulch. If you choose use leaves as a mulch, be sure to shred them before using them as mulch. Leaves that are mulched whole can compact together and create a mat-like layer that will prevent water and oxygen from reaching the soil. 

For mulching grass clippings, be sure to replenish your mulch layer several times throughout the year, as grass clippings can decompose quickly. Plan to reapply other types of organic mulch once a year.

Mulch Application

Before your spread your mulch over the soil, dig through areas of the soil to decide if your soil is sandy and drains quickly, or clay-like and drains slowly. If you have sandy soil, you will need to spread on a thicker layer of mulch, four inches thick. If you have soil that drains slowly, apply a layer of mulch one to two inches thick. Using too much mulch can promote diseases and plant rot in your bedding plants. Then, be sure to clear a two to four inch area around the base of your plants to prevent the mulch from holding in moisture around the stems and causing rot damage on them. 

After you have spread your mulch, spray its surface with a hose to moisten it. This prevents the dry mulch from pulling moisture from the soil and stealing it from your plants. It also helps to weigh down the mulch, preventing it from blowing away in heavy winds.

Use this information to help you reap the benefits of mulch in your yard. For more information, contact a residential landscaping company in your area. If you also need advice on how to landscape your commercial property, contact a commercial landscaping company like Boyer WH.