Mulches are materials placed over the soil surface to maintain moisture and improve soil conditions. Mulch is any type of material that is spread or laid over the surface of the soil as a covering. Mulching is one of the most beneficial things a home owner can do for the health of a tree. Mulch can reduce water loss from the soil, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool and improve soil structure as it decomposes.
Organic mulches such as: grass clippings, leaves, hay, straw, kitchen scraps, shredded bark, whole bark nuggets, sawdust, shells, woodchips, shredded newspaper, cardboard, wool, animal manure, etc. Many of these materials also act as a direct composting system, such as the mulched clippings of a mulching lawn mower.
Grass clippings, from mowed lawns are sometimes collected and used elsewhere as
Wood chips are a byproduct of the pruning of trees by arborists, utilities and parks; they are used to dispose of bulky waste.Organic mulch will decompose and will need to be replaced, however in the process it will also improve your soil’s fertility and, of course, its organic content. Generally the dryer and woodier the mulch, the slower it will decompose and the less nutrients it will give to the soil.
Mulch is usually applied towards the beginning of the growing season, and is often reapplied as necessary. It serves initially to warm the soil by helping it retain heat which is lost during the night. This allows early seeding and transplanting of certain crops, and encourages faster growth. As the season progresses, mulch stabilizes the soil temperature and moisture, and prevents sunlight from allowing weeds to infest your property.