Thursday, April 3, 2014

Make those Plants Happy with Mulch

So you may think mulch is boring, think again! Summer is rapidly approaching and those new plants need some love under our hot, sometimes blazing, Texas sun. One way to help plants reach their beauty potential may come in the form of mulch. Mulch helps protect plants and flowers from the heat and sun, allowing the roots to stay cooler and retain water during sizzling summer months that living in Hill Country, Texas can bring.

There are assorted varieties of mulch to choose from. Organic mulches consist of plant parts, such as pine bark, hardwood and cedar mulches and leaves. Mineral mulches are limestone sand, pea gravel, decomposed granite or recycled glass. These allow moisture to drain away from the base of a plant. Using groundcover as living mulch is a natural choice to shade the soil from the scorching sun and push weeds out of a garden, as some native plants are dense and zealous enough to do. Groundcovers also reduce evaporation, regulate soil temperature fluctuations, minimize erosion and as an added bonus, are beautiful while accomplishing all of this. Using groundcover as mulch lessens maintenance time and cost, as well as making the space finished and enjoyable.

It is important to match the right type of mulch with the existing surroundings. Mineral mulch is better for native plants that require dryer conditions. If using organic mulch with plants that prefer dry conditions, pull the mulch back from the stem 2 to 3 inches during wet spells to avoid fungal problems. Another important fact to consider is the thickness of mulch. Being too thick may cause it to absorb the water, not allowing it to reach the plant. Drip irrigation or soaker hoses can correct this problem. Some mulch may form a hard crust, which sheds water altogether. If planting seeds, avoid any mulch, as it  prevents seeds from growing.

So, mulch is not boring after all, it is the finishing touch to any landscape, highlighting the bursts of color and highlighting unique features. The folks at Burroughs Landscaping can guide you in the best choice for your particular area. 

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