Benefits of Mulching – Reasons to Hire a Professional Mulching Service
If your plants are dying due to the scorching hot Australian summers and you’re sick and tired of watering and weeding your garden constantly, you can easily minimise the impact these challenges present by mulching your garden. It’s a simple solution that yields a wide range of benefits. It’s basically a layer of bulky organic material scattered around the base of your plants. Its main purpose is to conserve moisture in the soil and prevent the growth of unwanted weeds. But that’s not all – there are several more reasons why everyone should mulch their yard, or get a professional mulching service to do it for them.
Water Retention and Conserving Moisture
Lack of water can be one of the biggest factors that limit plants’ growth. Fruit trees, especially, only expand their roots when there’s enough water in the surrounding soil. A tree that’s drought-stressed can become stunted and susceptible to disease and pests. Powdery mildew and aphids are two of the most common fruit tree enemies, and their occurrence is more prominent in stressed trees. A mulching service can ensure there’s enough water in the soil, and prevent it from evaporating quickly. Watering the whole mulch circle will ensure there’s plenty of moist soil for the tree’s roots to spread into. Additionally, mulch breaks down and forms humus, which is the life-force of soil. That being said, the broken-down mulch will provide the ideal habitat for the soil’s needed microorganisms.
Prevents Unwanted Competition
Another reason why you should mulch your garden is to smother the weeds and grass around your plants in order to prevent them from competing for water and valuable nutrients. Grass has a dense mat of roots, making it very competitive. Further, it’s allelopathic, which means that it produces biochemicals which inhibit the growth of your trees. If you plant two trees, and only mulch one, you’ll notice a significant difference in their health and growth.
Ground maintenance services that strim grass in public spaces can oftentimes damage newly planted trees. Similarly, strimmers that strim close to the tree stems can strip lashes of the tree’s bark. If this is a frequent occurrence, and if the tree is ring-barked, it will slowly start dying. A circle of mulch can act as a no-go zone and as an indicator that there shouldn’t be any strimming performed around the stem since the mulch will do its job and suppress unwanted plant growth.
Types of Mulch
There isn’t a single type of mulch that’s suitable for all types of soils and trees. The first thing you need to consider when picking the ideal type is whether you need one for winter or summer mulching. Winter mulches provide insulation for woody plants, and they should be laid down during autumn to keep the soil cool through the winter. Pine needles, straw and shredded leaves are all great winter mulches. Summer mulches, on the other hand, are applied after the soil starts warming up in the spring. The main purpose of summer mulches is to retain soil moisture, prevent weed growth and warm the soil.
Next, you’ll have to consider the location of the plants. For instance, black straw and plastic mulches are typically used for small fruit plantings and vegetable gardens. Bark chunks, pine needles and wood chips are ideal for mulching around trees and shrub beds. Fine mulches, including wood shavings, bark granules, buckwheat hulls and cocoa shells are appropriate for usage in perennial or annual beds. Crushed stone and fine gravel mulches are suitable for use in rock gardens.
And lastly, you have to consider the mulches’ availability and cost. Although buckwheat and cocoa hulls are great options, they might only be sold in specific regions where they’re processed. Even if they’re available in your location, they may be much more expensive than bark and wood chip mulches. Some municipalities gather wood chips from the tree-trimming work their public services perform and offer the chips for free to anyone who’s willing to take them.
Professional Mulching Services
Many people opt for professional mulching services due to the fact that the people performing them are experts on the matter and know the different types of mulch that different trees and soils require as well as the right amount of it. Additionally, they have all the necessary equipment to perform the job perfectly, something that most households lack. And while many people avoid hiring a tree mulching service because it costs money, believe it or not, these services are more affordable than you may think. The proper mulching can reduce potential damages that can lead to unnecessary costs in the long term.