A mulch is usually but not exclusively organic in nature. It may be permanent (e.g. plastic sheeting) or temporary (e.g. bark chips). Mulches of manure or compost will be incorporated naturally into the soil by the activity of worms and other organisms. It may be applied to bare soil, or around existing plants. The process is used both in commercial crop production and in gardening, and when applied correctly can dramatically improve soil productivity.
- To improve the fertility and health of the soil
- To reduce weed growth
- To enhance the visual appeal of the area
- To feed your lawn
- peat moss or sphagnum peat, is long lasting and popular as a mulch.
- wetted and dried, it can form a dense crust that does not allow water to soak in.
- lower the pH of the soil surface, making it useful as a mulch under acid loving plants
Wood chips Bark chips
- Wood chips are most often used under trees and shrubs.
- The chips are used to conserve soil moisture, moderate soil temperature and suppress weed growth
- Sizes vary from thin strands to large
- The finer types are very attractive
- Layered two or three inches deep, bark does not demand soil nitrates.
Straw mulch / field hay / salt hay
- They have an unkempt look and are used in vegetable gardens and as a winter covering.
- They are biodegradable and neutral in pH.
- They have good moisture retention and weed controlling properties
- Straw mulch is also available in various colors.