Outdoor Home Improvement - Mulch
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To create a nice, clean look for your landscaping, you can add mulch and completely transform the appearance. In addition to looking nice, mulch has many other benefits. For example, mulch is an excellent option for protecting the root systems of plants and, mulch adds rich nutrients into the soil. Other benefits include the slowing down of erosion, retaining moisture, and reducing the growth of weeds.

By placing mulch down around your plants, bushes, and trees, you can enjoy the work you have put into the landscaping without having to spend all of your time working overtime. For the mulch to work for you, you need to choose the right material and apply it the right way. First, mulch falls into two categories � organic and inorganic. To help you choose the best mulch for your needs, consider the following:


One of the best mulches you can use is compost, which is comprised of things you would normally throw away. This would include old fruit and vegetable scraps, sawdust, pet hair, newspaper, cardboard, leaves, and so on. The best option is to put compost down first and then cover it with a nice bark to help with appearance.

Grass clippings make great mulch that everyone has. All you need to do is dry the grass out first and then spread it out around your flowers and plants. Grass is very rich in nitrogen so it is extra good for vegetable gardens.

An inexpensive option is sawdust but make sure it is a minimum of one-year old. The only consideration for sawdust is that you might want to blend in a little nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

Another material that most people have is leaves. If you have a lawnmower with a mulcher, you can chop the leaves up and then sprinkle them around the base of the plants.

Bark is sold in a number of options such as shredded, nuggets, and chunks. This is an attractive and inexpensive option, perfect for retaining moisture and reducing weed growth.

Wood shavings and chips are also attractive but you want to choose material that is a minimum of one year old, just as you would with sawdust. If you choose material that is not aged properly, it can contain acids and toxins that will harm your plants. Another potential problem with wood not aged is that fungal contamination can occur.


You can lay a sheet of plastic down around the base of your plants to help block out air and excessive water. Since plants grow well with retained moisture and heat, this is a good option. You can then add a layer of bark for sake of appearance.

Stone and brick are also a good option. Since they sit together close, there is some degree of weed control. The important thing is to choose a medium to dark color since choosing a lighter color reflects the heat directly up to the plant, which could damage or kill it.

Landscaping fabric is a dark, dense mesh-like material that is sold in rolls. You simply cut pieces to fit around your plants and then place mulch on top of it. The nice thing about this fabric is that it allows good airflow, retains moisture, and helps reduce weeds.

When choosing mulch, material such as eucalyptus, cedar, or cypress are ideal. They provide great coverage, look wonderful, and have a nice, fresh fragrance.
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