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What Mulch Should I be Using?

It’s time to plant all those gorgeous flowers, trees, shrubs, and vegetables! But before you start, you need to consider what mulch goes with which plant. Overall there are two types of mulch: organic (mulch made of natural plant and animal products that decompose over time) and inorganic (mulch like rock or rubber that doesn’t break down). Some of the mulch you might come across are:

  • Wood
  • Straw
  • Bark
  • Grass Clippings
  • Cocoa Chip/Hulls
  • Recycled Paper/Newspaper or Rubber

Here are some general pointers for finding the right mulch for whatever plant project you’re working on:

Crocus flower in wood mulch

Flower Gardens

Mulch can protect your flowers from major weather changes and weeds while also providing and retaining important nutrients and water. You need durable and natural mulch like wood or bark, cocoa hulls, straw, recycled newspaper, or even grass clippings.

Vegetable Gardens

Your best bet to strengthen your soil for long-term growth is definitely using organic mulch. You can also achieve this by recycling things like compost, straw, leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, cocoa hulls, wheat straw, and newspaper. Black plastic landscape tarp can benefit vegetables that thrive in the heat by warming up the soil, but just be sure to bury it under a layer of mulch to preserve it as it deteriorates quickly. And make sure to poke holes in it so it doesn’t keep nutrients separated between the earth and plants. (We know we’re telling you to preserve it AND destroy it at the same time, but it’s true!)

Trees and Shrubs

Much like your vegetable gardens, trees and shrubs do best in organic mulch. And be sure not to create heaping mounds of mulch volcanoes for your trees, as the heavy moisture and pathogens could be lethal to them!

Mulch topsoil

Weed Prevention

And if you’re interested in strengthening your defenses against weeds, mulch can be a great additional piece of armor. Pull out any weeds you find and add about 2 to 3 inches of mulch, like pine straw, bark, wood chips, compost, cedar, or cypress.

Even though we say it’s the perfect time to get into mulching in spring, you really should mulch throughout the year, no matter the climate, especially in the spring and fall. And you can’t go wrong using organic mulch for all your needs if you’re ever unsure of what to use or have to be thrifty.

At Burger Farm and Garden Center, we want to equip everyone with the tools and knowledge to make their plants, lawn, and garden beautiful and healthy. Learn more and visit us today at burgerfarms.com.