Applying mulch around your planted areas is crucial to a successful garden. A number of natural materials work well as mulch. Hardwood, cedar, cypress and pine straw mulches are all strong options. Water University recommends between 2” and 4” of mulch for most applications. Be sure to taper off near plant bases to avoid fungal problems and other pest issues.
The benefits of mulching are many; they include:
- Increased water absorbing capacity
- Increased water holding capacity
- Reduced water evaporation
- Reduced erosion
- Weed control
- Soil temperature moderation
- Increased soil nutrition as mulch breaks down
Maintain 2” - 4” of mulch by adding new mulch annually as needed. This will help you save water and control weeds in your native and adapted planting bed. Keep in mind the array of other benefits your mulch will bring as it breaks down and enriches the existing soil.