Most people have two goals when it comes to landscaping: make their property look better while improving the health of their plants and soil. Mulch, and colored mulch in particular, is a great option that can help you accomplish both of these goals because of the wide range of benefits it provides. Whether you’re landscaping a single-family home or a larger commercial property, here are just some of the benefits of mulch for your landscaping design.
Improves soil moisture
Mulch improves soil moisture by increasing percolation (aka movement) of water through the soil. This helps reduce evaporation while also reducing weeds that compete for moisture. Improved moisture retention not only means you have to water less frequently, it also helps protect plants from drought stress, which leads to healthier, more resilient plants.
Adds aesthetic appeal
Colored mulch can improve the look of any landscaping design by adding a little pop of color that sets your property apart. You don’t need to choose vibrant reds or other primary colors to add aesthetic appeal either. Rich, dark brown and black mulch can be just as desirable, adding a uniformity to mulch beds that may be lacking with uncolored, organic mulch.
Mulch helps control weeds by reducing the amount of light available to the germinating weed seeds. The slow release of decomposition products from decaying organic mulch can also inhibit the germination of those seeds, preventing future weed growth. The protected soil habitat provided by mulch can also be an attractive home for beneficial organisms that promote healthy plant growth.
Another feature of mulch is it protects soil from wind, water and vehicle-induced erosion and reduces soil compaction by distributing the direct physical impact of rain drops and foot and vehicular traffic. Soil loss can be harmful to plants and expensive to replace. So, adding a layer of mulch can help protect your investment by making your landscaping last longer.
Moderates soil temperature
A layer of mulch helps moderate soil temperatures, preventing the soil from getting too hot during summer months. This is especially important for plants with fine roots that grow near the surface of the soil. Adding a layer of mulch therefore allows you to plant a wider range of species than you might otherwise be able to, giving you more options for your landscaping design.
Increases soil nutrition
When organic mulch decomposes, it releases beneficial plant nutrients into the soil at a slow and consistent rate. Those nutrients are not only good for the surrounding plants, but also encourage the growth of beneficial microbes that can reduce harmful pathogens. The result is stronger, healthier, more resilient plants that keep your landscaping looking great.
Reduces plant disease
Mulch physically reduces the splashing of rain droplets that can carry harmful spores up to the leaves of surrounding plants. The healthier soil environment that mulch creates can make plants less susceptible to the various stresses and diseases that can affect them.
When it comes to landscaping, you have a lot of options to choose from. But for a cost-effective way to improve both the health and look of your plants and other landscaping design elements, consider colored mulch and take advantage of the benefits it provides.
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