Lawn Care Blog

Using Mulch Properly isn't hard but requires care

Mulch is a material familiar to most homes in Ada, and for good reason: It has practical benefits, such as maintaining soil temperature and conserving water, as well as its visual potential- mulch can create an aesthetically pleasing landscape. 

Mulch is a great product, yet there is no one ultimate mulch, so there are a number of factors to consider when selecting a type of mulch and how much to use in your Ada home. 

First let's start with depth:

Depending on what type of plants are being mulched, the amount needed varies. Roses need just around two inches while pine trees need closer to three or four inches. No plant or tree should have more than four inches of mulch, more than four inches can lead to the plant's suffocating and becoming dehydrated, eventually leading to the plants death. 

A layer of at least one inch needs to be applied in order to effectively prevent weeds from growing. Drainage can also play a large factor in the amount of mulch needed, If an area drains poorly, mulch should be no more than two inches. 

The biggest mistake we see as a Lawn Care and Landscaping company is the "mulch volcano". Mulch volcano's are where plants and trees have a large amount of mulch around the base of them. This can create a habitat that rodents and fungi will thank you for, all while killing the tree by storing heat and starving the roots of oxygen. Mulch should be kept away from the base of the tree.

Next we will take a look at types of materials for mulch:

Mulches can be broken down in to two groups: Organic and Inorganic. Organic mulches tend to decompose and improve the soil. The gold standard for mulch is the one that is making the greatest contribution to the soil. That is going to be compost, but the compost needs to be made from premium ingredients.

 Bark chunks, wood chips and pine needles are longer-lasting organic mulch choices. These choices resist compaction and being blown away by the wind. All these options are also readily available in Ada and Grand Rapids. 

Inorganic materials such as gravel, rock, rubber mulch, and landscaping fabric typically are considered a permanent part of the landscape and don't need to be replaced like organic materials but they do no improve the soil. 

Lastly we will look at applying mulch:

Once you have determine the correct amount and type of mulch for your Ada landscape, it's time to get dirty and apply it. Applying mulch requires that the beds be weed free to maintain its beauty for as long as possible. Spreading the material evenly and replenishing the mulch as needed. If this sounds like a lot of work you can always contact Platinum Landscape Management at 616-881-9605 and we can take care of all your needs.