Laying mulch is one of those things that people rush into in the spring. You don’t want to lay mulch too soon!
First, let’s back up to mulch’s purpose. Mulch is meant to help protect a plant’s root system. It helps protect by adding nutrients to the soil and also helps slow down the erosion of topsoil. In the winter, it helps insulate from the cold weather. In the spring, most homeowners are applying mulch to help control and kill weeds in their flower beds.
If mulch is laid too early in the spring, it will actually slow down the natural warming process of the soil. That is why you need to wait until mid-spring. Many want to lay mulch as soon as there is one warm afternoon. This isn’t beneficial. The ground needs to have a few consistent warm days to make the soil warm. If mulch is laid too early and/or too thick, plants may not be able to grow through the mulch layer. If mulch is laid too thick, it is also possible that a plant will have it’s main root growth within the mulch layer instead of the ground and this creates a shallow root system. It is important to let the plants get a head start. Once you see a sign of where your plants are going to come up (even if it’s just a peek), it is okay to mulch that area.
Before mulching, it is also important to rid the area of weeds. A layer of mulch will help prevent a large amount of weeds from sprouting back up. Another thing to take into consideration before weeding is where the spot you are mulching is located. If the area is at the bottom of a hill or slope, you may need to put a heavier variety of mulch here so that it isn’t washed away by run-off water.
Mulching in the spring is a great idea. Not only does it add curb appeal to your lawn, it helps prevent pesky weeds and protects your plants.
As always, we are here to help, (864) 275-2039!
By: Hannah Raines
Copyright: ALL Outdoors 2021
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