Mulch is a very vague term that can be applied to any number of materials, from stuff you find in your kitchen to more specialized items that you need to buy from a store. Whether you are mulching your items yourself or buying it premade, there are a few things you need to know about applying mulch properly. The last thing you want to do is accidentally hurt your garden by not applying the correct mulch to it. Here are three of the most common mulching ingredients and what gardens they best suit so you can get the best out of your lawn and featured plants.
That's right, even plastic can be considered mulch because of the role it performs. However, plastic mulching should only be used on very specific occasions, primarily when you want to grow a certain fruit or vegetable. Plastic mulching not only almost completely prevents weeds, but it heats up the soil underneath and contributes to the accelerated growth of whatever plant you have decided to focus it on. The application of black plastic mulching can be a little finicky, but if you get it done properly, the results are second to none.
Wood chips are perhaps the best-looking mulch because of the natural aesthetic that so many people love, and they can also provide a very nice smell that many people also seek out. Wood chips are best used in and around established trees and larger shrubbery because they contribute nutrients in a slow and sustained fashion, while also not being too disruptive. If you put woodchips around smaller plants, they can smother them a little bit, and also make it frustrating for you to dig around them during maintenance and weeding. Still, wood chips are undeniably one of the best mulches and you can often make them yourself by renting the right mulching equipment.
Composting has gotten very popular with many Americans because of how useful it is to recycle your food scraps and other biodegradable items. Once the compost has fully decayed to the proper gradient, then you should layer it in very small amounts over the top of any plant or growth you like, and it will experience quite rapid growth. The nutrients in compost are very, very good for all plants, but adding too much can stifle new plants and also make the compost itself less effective. Restraint is key when adding in compost as mulch, but when it is applied well the results can be astounding.