Top 7 Benefits of Mulch
Reduces Evaporation - Mulching helps prevent evaporation by creating a protective barrier from the sun. It also helps by stopping run-off during rainfall or watering. During hot summer days, mulching can save on gallons of water per plant! This means less time spent out watering, and less money wasted on evaporated water.
Improves Soil Aeration - Mulching improves the quality of your soil by breaking up clay and allowing better water, air movement through it. It provides nutrients to sandy soils that help them retain their moisture (and you don't have as much work watering).
Provides Nutrients - A nicely mulched layer of organic materials can deliver essential vitamins and nutrients to your soil. As the organic materials breaks down, the mulch becomes part of the soil below. This keeps the soil fertile, soft and aerates it so nutrients can access plant roots.
Easier Weeding - Mulch often reduces worries about invasive weed problems taking over, as new weeds are easily seen and removed.
Pest Control - Mulching can act as an organic repellent. Some organic materials contain natural scents that unwanted bugs such as cockroaches or beetles don’t like, like cedar wood chips.
Warning: Bark or chip mulches made from cedar or cypress trees are helpful for repelling insects, BUT do not decay well, and therefore do not add much nutrient value to your soil. Both cedar and cypress wood contain natural oils and chemicals such as thujone that deter bugs.
Promote Earthworms - Mulch provides a protective layer so they can thrive. Earthworms are great for soil, as their castings provide essential nutrients.
Prevents Erosion - Sometimes soil that’s exposed to the elements will start to erode. Mulching is a great way to prevent this from happening.
Regular watering and heavy rains can wash away the topsoil, adding a layer of mulch helps retain necessary moisture and also protect against water runoff. This is especially important in sloped areas or sections of your property that take on large amounts of water when it rains.
- Do you know any additional benefits of mulching? Please contact us and let us know so we can add it to this list. :) Thank you.
Shopping For Mulch
At your local hardware store by the bag is the easiest, but not the cheapest. If you're going to take mulching seriously, I recommend buying in bulk at various suppliers in your area.
Free Mulch - One way is to see if Chip Drop is available in your area, sign up, they come and drop a load when a nearby landscaper needs to dump chips.
You can also use your phone and human social skills to call a local arborist/groundskeepers to get some free mulch dropped into your yard (careful it's from trees that biodegrade easier (not cedar, cypress)
Also available at some home and garden stores, or nurseries, you can buy large amount of mulch, measured in cubic yards. Any one of the local landscaping companies near you will be able to tell you where they buy their mulch if you just reach out to them to ask for a reference. Easy.
But How Much Do I Need?
You can calculate the volume of mulch you need by multiplying the area (in square feet) by the depth (fraction of foot, not inches), then dividing by 27.
300 square feet ✖ 0.250 (3 inches as a portion of a foot) ➗ 27 = 3 cubic yards
An area that’s 300 square feet and 3” deep will require approximately 3 cubic yards of mulch.
Often you can get a truckload of 5 yards, 10 yards, even 20 yards of mulch delivered to your driveway ... Often the delivery fee isn't much more for a 10 yard truck, as a 5 yard truck, so you can mulch your whole yard, and save water. Just invite your friends over for a "barn raising" of sorts, where everyone hauls back a bit of mulch together.