Click here for a printable flyer on Mulching
Material applied to the surface of the soil for protection and improvement
is considered a mulch. Passing yard trimmings through a shredder will
create a uniform mulch. The less woody and fibrous the mulch, the faster
it ages. Grassclippings, leaves, food waste and newspaper age quickly.
Wood chips, bark, sawdust, pine needles, and straw/hay age slowly.
Organic mulches improve the condition of the soil. As these mulches slowly
decompose, they provide organic matter that helps keep the soil loose.
This improves root growth, increases the infiltration of water and also
improves the water-holding capacity of the soil. Organic matter is a
source of plant nutrients and provides an ideal environment for earthworms
and other beneficial soil organisms.
Tips on Mulching
the compaction of soil from the impact of heavy rains
the soil from erosion, conserves moisture, reducing the need for
a more even soil temperature
fruits and vegetables clean
a “finished” look to the garden
||Amount to Apply
||Smaller chips are easier
to spread around small plants. Excellent for use around trees,
shrubs, and perennial gardens. When spreading mulch around
trees, keep the mulch 1-2 inches from trunk.
above. If using fresh wood chips mixed with leaves, composting
may be beneficial.
chop and compost before spreading. If using dry leaves, apply 6
layers tend to compact and rot. Add layers as clippings
decompose. Do not use clippings from lawns treated with
sheets of newspaper and cover with grass clippings or other mulch
material to anchor or cover edges of paper with soil.