Any seasoned gardener knows that mulching can be beneficial for your garden, but if you’re wondering what mulching is, and how it can help your garden then keep reading!
Mulch is the commonly used term for any kind of material which is laid or spread as a covering, over the surface of soil or compost.
Mulching is the gardener’s friend and has many benefits including improving soil texture, reducing weeds, helping soils to retain moisture in the summer and acting as a barrier to other crops.
Mulching in the spring is beneficial as it feeds and warms the soil.
However, believe it or not, mulching in the winter is just as vital for your garden and is something which can have a huge effect on your plants.
Wondering why? Well, when the temperature drops and the freezing conditions hit, it’s just as important to mulch now, as it is in the spring.
Mulches used can either be Biodegradable or Non-Biodegradable. Biodegradable mulches include wood chippings, straw, rotted manure, and garden compost.
Non-Biodegradable Mulches include pebbles, shingle. Gravel, stone chippings, slate, sea shells, crushed CD’s and glass. All of these are more decorative and can make a nice feature of your garden.
The reasoning behind winter mulching is to keep the ground frozen by shielding it from the warmth of the sun. This will keep the plants dormant and the beds watertight. When the ground freezes and thaws, the soil expands and contracts. This will loosen roots and break away from the plant where they are anchored underground, pushing the crown up to the surface.
Freezing temperatures and drying wind can damage the exposed plants, so mulching during the winter helps to protect them. Most plants are dormant in the winter so not growing.
here is also a thing as too much mulch, like in this photo! Too much mulch applied over the root ball or resting against the trunk can cause problems for trees, especially when there is a large range in particle sizes.
Roots often grow up and into the mulch causing stem girdling roots which can kill trees. This is especially troublesome on trees planted within the last 10 to 20 years. In addition to causing problems described below, mulch can also hide decay and dead spots on the lower trunk and major roots. Decay in this portion of the tree can cause the tree to become unstable. Keep mulch about 12 to 18 inches from the trunk for any size of tree.
Give mulching a go and you’re guaranteed to see improved grass, plants and greenery come summer.
We’re always happy to advise on whether your plants need mulching, and if you need help with mulching in your garden then please do get in touch as we’re happy to carry this out for you. Why not give us a call to get booked in on 01438 728176.