ARS LANDSCAPE MATERIALS AND SUPPLY
Simple Facts About Mulch
A mulch layer around trees, shrubs and planted beds and covering bare ground provides many benefits. In areas that are difficult to mow, irrigate or otherwise maintain, use mulch to replace turf or groundcovers. Also consider placing mulch in shady areas where plants don’t grow well.
Organic mulch materials improve soil fertility as they decompose.
Mulch buffers soil temperature, keeping soils warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Mulch helps maintain soil moisture by reducing evaporation. A layer of mulch also minimizes water needs for established plants.
Fresh mulch inhibits weed germination and growth.
Over time, many types of mulch improve soil aeration, structure and drainage.
A mulch layer can inhibit certain plant diseases.
Mulch around trees and shrubs (not against the trunk) eases maintenance and reduces the likelihood of damage from string trimmers.
Mulch gives planting beds a neat and uniform appearance, adding a contrast of color and texture that complements plantings.
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