Mulch is a protective cover placed over soil to retain moisture, reduce erosion, provide nutrients, and last, though certainly not least, to suppress weed growth and germination. When gardening and landscaping, one is usually most concerned with suppressing the growth of weeds in their beds. Mulching helps with this problem tremendously. Mulch improves the looks of landscaping by inhibiting the growth of weeds in the beds. Mulch also deters weeds from growing in vegetable gardens, which in turn will help the vegetables grow better.
Weed control ends up being a constant battle in many home gardens. The quickest and most inexpensive fix for weeds is mulch. Mulch can be purchased for most, if not all, home improvement and garden stores. Standard mulch cover prevents most weed growth. Mulch prevents the weeds from accessing much needed light the weeds need to germinate.
A very popular mulch used to kill already existing weeds in beds would be cardboard mulch. Cardboard mulch is an inexpensive way to kill out weeds in a large area. Using this type of mulch helps kill existing weeds in the bed while preventing new weeds from growing. Using cardboard mulch is quite easy. First, breakdown the cardboard boxes into sheets and lay over-top of the beds, overlapping the sheets a bit to prevent weeds from growing through the mulch. Water the cardboard mulch until it s thoroughly saturated. Next, cover the cardboard mulch with eight inches of straw mulch or wood chip mulch. This prevents weeds that penetrate through the cardboard mulch to mature. Once the mulch has settled for one week, cut holes through the mulch and plant desired seedlings in the holes through the mulch. Alternatively, this mulching technique can be performed the year before that the weeds are completely gone come next planting season.
A preventative measure to be taken is applying a preemergent for weed control. Be cautious when choosing to use a preemergent herbicide, read the labels to make sure it is suitable for the plants you are placing it around. Unfortunately, placing a preemergent herbicide below existing mulch means all seeds are prevented from germinating for three to four months. To apply the preemergent herbicide existing mulch needs to be raked aside from where it is being placed. The mulch can be piled to the side of the garden or bed or the mulch can be removed completely. Spread the herbicide all over the soil and spray the area with water. Replace the mulch, which should be two to three inches deep. Mulch laid this thick should prevent weeds from reemerging.
The number one mulching method used to prevent weeds before they become a problem is choosing to lay down plastic liner mulch. Laying plastic mulch beneath more attractive mulch and over soil is ideal for curb appeal and weed control. Lay down the plastic mulch and cut slits in the liner where seeds are to be planted. After this step, cover the plastic sheet much with any desired mulch, depending on your landscaping needs. This top layer of mulch holds the plastic mulch in place.
Weed is the enemy when is comes to landscaping any area. Many view mulch as an added step in the landscaping and gardening process. While mulching is an added process, it is much needed. Preventing weeds is a necessary step as getting rid of weeds once they have grown is more tedious and time-consuming. Mulching should always be considered in any landscaping or gardening process. Mulch is attractive and functional, as well.