The winter months are a great time to mulch. Mulching will benefit your plants in the winter by helping hold moisture in the soil, slowing erosion, and providing insulation to the root zones of plants.
Mulches are categorized into two main groups : ones that biodegrade into the soil like composted bark chips or pecan shells and ones that are non-biodegradable like gravel mulches. Both types have value, it just depends on the particular location and the types of plants they are being used on, in addition to a client’s personal preference.
The principle advantage to compostable mulches is that they help build healthy soils by contributing organic material to the top layers of soil. They are also lighter and easier to work with when adding new plants or when existing plants are being moved around in the garden. Plants that prefer organic mulches include Aspens, Fruit trees, Roses, and other plants that prefer a high level of organic material in the soil. Because of their ability to biodegrade and their lighter weight, they do need to be replenished every two or three years and perhaps even annually in windy, unprotected locations.
Gravel mulches in contrast are more likely to stay in place so will need to be replenished less often. They also give a bit of a neater appearance than organic mulches, but often require an application of weed barrier under the gravel to prevent weeds from growing up through the gravel. There are quite a few plants that prefer gravel mulch. Natives plants, such as penstemons and others that like lean soils seem to prefer gravel mulches. Salvias and Lavenders also prefer gravel as it helps keep their root crowns from getting wet and rotting.
Call EcoScapes Landscaping today to get a free quote for adding the mulch of your choice to your garden.