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Mulching: The Key to a Healthy and Beautiful Garden

  Fun days in the warm sunshine and great outdoors are fast approaching, which is exhilarating for anyone who has a green thumb! However, we at JT Works want to make sure that your vibrant wonderland of gardens and flower beds are not only breathtaking but are also healthy so you can enjoy them to the fullest this blooming season and many more! In this post, we will be covering why spreading mulch is not just simply a task you do every spring to make your flower beds pretty, but it plays a vital role in the viability and success of your luscious and colorful blooms for years to come, that is when done correctly. 


Did you know…

       For most people, mulching is done with the intent of giving your flower beds a fresh, clean, and pristine finish that will highlight the bright blooms scattered throughout them. Which is a fine end-goal but there are multiple more important reasons to pursue mulching. Weed control is one of the more obvious benefits of mulching your flower beds. Who wants to spend countless hours bent over in the summer heat picking at those pesky sprouts that will for sure come back within a matter of days? Mulch provides reliable control of weed growth by decreasing sun and oxygen exposure to the soil underneath. Without these two life-sustaining elements, weeds have an incredibly hard time thriving. Less time spent weed plucking means more time to admire your beautiful flowers!  Controlling the number of weeds in your gardens also increases the amount of hydration that is reaching your plants, as weeds tend to absorb moisture at a quicker rate than plants. Spreading mulch also provides essential insulation and soil temperature regulation to your growing plants not only from the summer heat but from the cold of the winter. It acts as a barrier against moisture evaporation and traps in water which ensures the root systems of your plants stay hydrated and cool in the hot summer months and protected from the harsh elements of a bitterly cold winter. 

      An odd but intriguing benefit of mulching is it increases the number of earthworms in

the soil, which may sound distasteful or undesirable, but these squirmy friends are incredibly beneficial to your soil health. The wet and decomposing environment of mulch is a desirable home for earthworms and attracts them in larger quantities. The creation of small tunnels throughout the soil is one of the benefits of earthworms. These tunnels create pathways for water and oxygen to reach the root systems of the plants, which would obviously mean there

is an increase in not only plant growth but plant thriving.  Another benefit, although gross, is that through the excrement of earthworms, there is an increase in the amount of two nutrients, carbon dioxide and nitrogen, which plants need for proper development and reproduction by pollination. Nitrogen is a component of chlorophyll, which is how plants absorb and then use the energy they absorb from the sunlight to grow. Nitrogen plays an important role in the production of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Without proteins, plants are unable to grow and will wither and die. Carbon dioxide is very similar to nitrogen in that it helps plants absorb energy and thus in turn helps them grow stronger and quicker. 

 Mulch prevents soil erosion from hard rainfall, heavy snow and strong winds by acting as a thick barrier that prevents the soil from being stripped away. If you have spent money adding topsoil to your gardens or perhaps any other improvements to the soil, mulching would be an excellent way to protect that investment. Lastly, mulching adds esthetic value to your landscape! Everything looks more vibrant and beautiful in a garden that has a fresh layer of mulch covering it like a comforting blanket. Have you ever seen a flower bed full of gorgeous blooms but yet it still somehow looks dull? Add some mulch and it becomes an entirely different scenery all together!

 

Now that you know, do it right!

      Now, like anything that you spend money on, you want it done correctly because nothing is more frustrating or disheartening than investing money in something and having it feel like a complete waste at the end. So, there are some key components of mulching that if adhered to, you will be left with absolute satisfaction at the end of the project! Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, do not mulch too early in the season. If you mulch too early, you run the risk of smothering your perennial plant growth. Some perennial sprouts are so small that you don't even realize they are there, meaning it would be easy to cover them up, leading to a lack of oxygen and sunlight exposure and ultimately the plants demise. The best time to mulch is late spring to early summer, after you can visibly see any perennials above the surface of the ground, and you no longer run the risk of burying them. Secondly, don't lay too thick of a layer of mulch, as this can prevent adequate water and oxygen penetration. Lack of air flow can lead to root suffocation and decay and not enough water will lead to dehydration and plant death. With all of that being said, the recommended depth to lay mulch is 2 inches. Lastly, avoid mulch that has a lot of dyes in it. The dyes that are found in some mulches can pollute the soil with harmful chemicals, which can lead to poisoning of the plants, improper development of young plants and kill off our slimy and squirmy friends, the earthworms. So how do you pick the "right mulch" you ask? Look for products that come from organic sources, like bark mulch, shredded nut shells, pine needles, wood chips and compost. If you are looking for a mulch with color, bark mulch and wood chips come in a variety of natural colors sourcing from the wood itself.

 

Let us help!

      Hopefully, this post has offered some beneficial insight to you on how important mulching is to the health of your gardens. If you were on the fence about whether to spend money on mulching, our hope at JT Works is that after reading this you understand that mulching is an investment with lasting benefits. Whether you decide to do the mulching yourself or hire for the project to be done, hopefully you can go into the summer season feeling confident in selecting what mulch is best for your grounds! 

The pictures below are just a few of the mulching jobs that JT Works has completed. If you are looking to hire a company that are experts in skillful precision, meticulously detailed and extensively knowledgeable, please reach out to JT Works and let us help you get your gardens and landscape ready for this summer season! As we like to say, "We do it, so you don't have to!"






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