Mulching in Summer: Choosing the Best Type
The summer heat is on! It may be tough to keep your plants healthy during the heat of the summer, but there is one simple thing you can do to keep them in tip-top shape: mulch.
There are so many benefits of mulching in summer. Mulching during the spring can promote the growth of fungus and mildew. Summer mulch keeps the soil temperatures from fluctuating, controls erosion, cuts down on weeds, improves the soil’s nutrient-holding capacity, and helps slow down the loss of moisture.
It can be quite confusing to choose the best mulch for your landscape, especially when there are so many types available. Shredded bark may be one of the first things that would come to mind, but there are other kinds of mulch that you may want to consider using. Knowing how much to use and when to add mulch are also equally important.
Your Dallas landscaping company would like to share these tips when mulching during summer. Depending on what you are planting and on your landscape design, you have these choices available to you.
Organic mulch will break down over time and will need to be replaced. When they break down, they add nutrients and organic matter to the soil, enhancing the soil’s structure. Woodier and drier mulch will decompose slower and give fewer nutrients to the soil. Each kind of mulch has its own unique use.
This type of mulch is better suited to areas in your lawn where you want to suppress weeds. Use with discretion – like most green plant debris, grass clippings decompose very rapidly due to their higher water content and can exude an unpleasant odor.
They are best used around shrubs, trees, and in garden beds – places where you won’t be doing a lot of digging, like foundation plantings and front walkways. It can be quite a hassle to move bark mulch to make way for new plants, and they do not mix well into the soil. However, bark mulches have a longer lifespan compared to other organic mulches.
Shredded newspaper has been used for quite some time to keep the plant roots moist during transit. Newspaper has great moisture retention abilities, and they can also help regulate the soil temperature and suppress weeds.
These are nature’s most preferred mulch! They are widely available and can be used as mulch anywhere. Some people do not use it in a formal landscape setting, but if you spread a layer before the plants spread out, you will find that shredded leaves tend to camouflage into the view. If you spread a layer of leaf mulch over your garden in the fall, it will start decomposing during the colder months.
Other organic mulches
- Pine needles
- Local byproducts like cocoa hulls, coffee grounds, or ground corncobs
Inorganic mulches are also useful for holding moisture and blocking weeds. However, they do not decompose quickly, nor do they add nutrients to the soil.
Plastic and landscape fabric
This is a good option for placing around shrubs, trees, and foundation plantings. Just be sure to cut holes in the fabric, as plastic can get very hot in the summer. Unless there is sufficient moisture, it can also eradicate all the good stuff in the soil.
Stone and gravel
These choices work well as mulches when used with plants that like additional heat and in areas in your landscape that need good drainage. However, it’s best if you give it a lot of thought before using stone or gravel as mulch since they are hard to remove.
Other synthetic mulches
- Brick chips
- Crushed marble