Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > April 2014 > GARDEN TALK with DOUG - MULCHING


Now that spring has arrived there is a lot of mulching going on by homeowners and by landscape firms.  Unfortunately, I observe too many improper mulching habits.

                Mulching, whether with pine bark, hardwood, or pine needles can be a great value to shrubs and trees when done correctly.  Some benefits of PROPER MULCHING are:  impedes the growth of weed and grass that compete with shrub and tree roots, conserves soil moisture, protects the trunk from “moweritis”, reduces soil compaction, and moderates soil temperature.

                Here are problems associated with OVER MULCHING:  repeated or deep application of mulch does not allow shrub and tree roots to get oxygen and breath.  Without oxygen root growth declines then they die, mulch piled in a “volcano” shape high up on the trunk decreases and kills the inner bark and roots can no longer receive food from the leaves – REMEMBER TO KEEP THE BARK DRY AND ROOTS MOIST, deep layers of mulch against the trunk provides a perfect habitat for pests.

                The proper amount of mulch at any one time is 2 – 4 inches.  If a “fresh” look is desired each season, take some of the old mulch away before adding a new layer to reach the 2 – 4” depth.


Posted: 4/3/2014 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: DougHensel, GardenTalkWithDoug
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