- It regulates soil temperature and prevents evaporation.Mulch acts as an insulator shielding the soil from the sun and wind, which helps to keep it cool and reduce evaporation during hot periods; this means you’ll need to water less often. It also protects plants from frost in winter. Organic mulches such as bark chips are best for this, as inorganic mulches like pebbles can retain heat.
- It controls weeds.A thick layer of mulch keeps weeds at bay by reducing the amount of light that reaches the soil making it difficult for these troublesome plants to thrive. Bark chips and newspaper are effective organic weed controls and pebbles are a good inorganic option. For even better results, lay down Weed-Gard and disguise it with the mulch of your choice.
- It enriches your soil.Organic mulches will eventually decompose, improving the quality and water retention of the soil by creating natural compost. Try bark chips, compost, leaves or grass clippings.
- It reduces soil erosion.A layer of mulch prevents the soil around the roots of plants from being washed away in heavy downpours; it also helps to control erosion in sloping areas. Use inorganic mulches like pebbles or organic mulches such as newspaper or bark chips.
- It looks attractive. By disguising bare soil, mulch makes for good-looking garden beds. Organic mulches have a rustic appeal that’s suited to natural gardens, while inorganic mulches are more conspicuous and look more formal.