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Improving your landscaping starts with mulch

Spring chores will always include clearing the yard of sticks and debris, raking out the flower beds, edging lawns, and getting ahead of weeds. The final step should be adding a fresh layer of mulch, and not just for the manicured look it creates.

At T2 Design, mulch is a critical part of every landscaping consultation and job we do, and for good reason. Having the right mulch for your needs provides a multitude of benefits beyond just looking great.

Whether you are finishing a high traffic area, topping a flower garden, or protecting spring and summer vegetables, there is a mulch that is perfect for you. Organic mulches include chipped wood, shredded bark, straw, peat moss, and compost. Inorganic mulches include gravel, stones, and shredded rubber. At T2, we can help you choose the right one for your needs and properly install it.

Things to know:

·         Spread mulch evenly at least two inches thick and up to three inches for some applications.

·         Apply a thinner fresh layer of mulch over previous year’s mulch for a finished look.

·         Rake out and loosen soil in gardens and beds containing old organic mulch every four or five years to keep soil in top condition and distribute nutrients from decomposing material.

Organic mulches

The most common of organic mulches is wood, either chipped scrap wood or bark nuggets and chips. A nice layer of wood mulch will serve to insulate plants, hold soil to more even temperature and moisture levels, and control weeds. Available in different colors, it also provides a clean, attractive finish to your landscaped areas.

One advantage of any organic mulch is its ability to feed your soil as it decomposes. If improving your soil is your key objective, peat moss, compost, and sweet peat are better choices for your mulch layer, as all will add more nutrients while improving soil drainage. Sweet peat and straw are also optimum choices for protecting seeds and seedlings in vegetable gardens.

Inorganic mulches

If you are finishing a space where drainage is critical and it must hold up well, such as a walkway or playground area, inorganic mulches are best. Small or large gravel or river rock are ideal choices for manicured walkways or beds planted with shrubs and trees, as these materials drain well, provide good weed control, and will generally last several years with little maintenance.

For a child’s play area, such as under a swing set, and for picnic areas, recycled rubber can be an excellent choice for its pliable properties.

Choosing mulch color

For landscaping around homes and office buildings, color matters and mulch can make a big difference. Most wood mulches today are available in black, brown, and red, and while it often is a personal preference, there are benefits that can be gained from each one. Consider the following:

·         Brown mulch is a neutral, universal choice that blends with every shade of green and can soften the harshness of red brick on a home or other building.

·         Black mulch is a great complement to contemporary homes and buildings, especially those in shades of gray.

·         For a garden of mostly shades of green foliage, black provides the best backdrop to make these stand out.

·         Red mulch is ideal for white, cream, and light-colored floral gardens as well as flowers and foliage in gold tones.

·         Bear in mind, black mulch with attract more sunlight and retain heat, which can be hard on delicate plants. Consider what you are planting and whether your flower bed is exposed to hot afternoon sun.

·         Brown mulch is prone to fading more quickly than other colors of mulch.

Mulch of any kind will protect roots, encourage seed germination, improve soil moisture, and provide weed and erosion control. Talk to the experts at T2 Design to learn more about how mulch can improve your landscaping.



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