With the weather finally getting warm, Calgarians are itching to get out into their gardens, tidy up their landscaping, and have everything looking healthy and beautiful for summer. One important aspect of this is mulch. Tidy, well-maintained mulch not only improves the look of your yard, it also provides numerous great benefits. In this article, you’ll learn what every homeowner should know about mulch, why to use it, where to use it, and when to use it.
At Soil Kings, you’ll find a wide variety of premium quality mulches. This selection leads many homeowners to ask how they should choose a mulch beyond aesthetic preferences, like colour. This is a great question. The first thing to consider is where the mulch will be placed. On a steep area with a lot of water run off, you’ll be best served by a heavier mulch with heavy pieces. However, in a flat area with little shelter from the wind, a fine mulch is likely a better option, as it’ll be harder to blow away. For best results, you’ll want a depth of at least 2 inches.
Beyond the beautiful appearance and wonderful, aromatic scent, mulch is extremely useful. When mulch is at an ideal depth (about 2 inches), it prevents weed growth, reduces moisture loss, and slows wind and water erosion. The layer of mulch also acts as a blanket that protects your soil and plant roots from rapid temperature changes — an important consideration in Calgary where fluctuations of 20 degrees or more within 24 hours are not unheard of.
Mulch is a practical option in many areas around your yard. In garden beds with annuals, a fine mulch is a great choice. It’ll offer all the benefits we described above, without overwhelming the delicate flowers. Around trees and larger shrubs, however, a heavier mulch won’t look out of place.
Aesthetically, you can choose to use mulch anywhere in your yard, but mulch isn’t the only landscaping tool available. For example, alongside your home, forming walking pathways, and in other areas where you want to control weeds, but you aren’t growing any desired plants, aggregates, like Alberta Rainbow Rock, limestone, or Purple Sparkle Rock, may be a better option. A thick layer of these rocks (2 inches or more) will effectively control weeds, and they won’t need to be replaced regularly, as rocks won’t decompose or blow away.
Mulch needs to be topped up every year or two. As a natural wood product, it slowly decomposes and becomes a part of your top soil. At Soil Kings we tend to look at this as just another great feature of mulch. As it breaks down over the years, the mulch increases the available nutrients for your plants, and the ultra fine pieces that get mixed into the loam, help your topsoil to hold onto valuable moisture, even on the hottest days.
We recommend topping up your mulch (or putting down new beds) in mid spring. This is because you want the sun to have a chance to thaw and warm the soil before you add an insulating layer of mulch. Be sure to weed the area carefully before mulching for best results.
Does your landscaping project require mulch? Need to top up your current mulch beds to the recommended 2 inches? You can conveniently place an order for your favourite mulch online at Soil Kings and have it delivered to your home! Use coupon code May10 for 10% off your online purchase today.