5 Mulches for Looks and Function

Not so long ago, we have talked about lawn care and landscaping trends we will see implemented this year. One of them described a powerful inclination towards sustainability and naturescaping – the use of organic materials and locally sourced plants to revamp your landscape and cut down the costs of watering, fertilization and pest control. Mulch has been a topic we also favored in the past, but today we will take a closer look at five organic mulches and their uses for both beauty and function. You still have some time until spring gardening activities become your priority again, so let’s give you a head up related to the most favored mulches to use this year as picked by our lawn care Milford, CT specialists.

1. Post Mowing Grass Clippings

Some lawn care pros recommend the removal of grass clippings from your lawn after a mow; others incline towards their use as mulch and organic fertilizer. Our lawn care Milford, CT experts recommend you find a balance between these two approaches and mix grass clippings with straw and leaves. This type of vegetal mulch prevents the matting of the grass clippings, obtaining a thin and aerated layer of mulch to act as natural fertilizer and protective ground cover. If you want to use grass clippings as mulch, remember to apply a thin layer because a thick one can reduce air flow and turn dangerous for the soil and roots.

2. Shredded Tree Bark

Shredded bark is not new in organic mulch application principles. While it manages to beautify your trees and flower beds, you still need to test the soil before using it. Bark can be too acidic for the soil, trees or vegetation beds and you might need to compensate that with other soil amendments such as lime. Shredded bark is a good choice for large planting areas like shrubs and ornamental trees. Ask your lawn care Milford, CT team to help you with the verification of shredded bark as it might come together with weed seeds and you don’t want them to sprout in your mulched areas.

3. Shredded Dry Leaves

Another common organic type of mulch, shredded dry leaves make a gorgeous cover for your plantings and a valuable fertilizer for the soil, as leaves contain plenty of nitrogen. As the leaves decompose, the nitrogen is slowly absorbed into the soil feeding the roots. You should be careful, however, before making mulch out of leaves. If they are large in size or wet they can mat together thus impeding air flow. Our local lawn care Milford, CT specialists recommend you to collect the leaves, let them dry properly and shred them with your mower before turning them into mulch.

4. Straw

From a landscaping point of view, straw mulch is not generally favored, as it doesn’t look groomed and neat at all. This is why it is mostly used in vegetable gardens. Light colored straw mulch has its benefits, reflecting heat away from the soil and containing little to no weed seeds to be able to sprout in mulched areas. This mulch can be used in flower beds or larger plantings if you want to achieve a more natural, “wilder” landscape look.

5. Seaweed

One of the most appraised organic materials to use as mulch, seaweed is extremely nutritious for the soil and vegetation, also acting as slug barrier. You should mix it with grass clippings as seaweed shrinks in heat, leaving bare spots for weeds to sprout and thrive. A thick layer of seaweed is recommended as mulch for both nutrition and looks. Our lawn care Milford, CT specialists recommend a soil test first before using seaweed as mulch as it may contain too much salt.