Benefits of Mulch

224What sets apart amazing landscaping that takes your breath away from ordinary gardening? Mulch! That may be a bit of an exaggeration, however mulch has many advantages, including benefits to your plants and reduced labor. Brighten up your garden while cutting down on weeding time by adding in your favorite type of mulch.

Some benefits of adding mulch include:

  • Slowing water evaporation after rain or watering to keep plants hydrated longer.
  • Reducing weed growth.
  • Enriching soil as they decompose.
  • Controlling temperature fluctuations in the soil to protect roots.
  • Enhancing the look of your garden by adding color and texture.


Mulch comes in several varieties, all of which are suited to different uses. Some main types are wood chips, bark, and pea gravel. Organic types of mulches improve soil quality as they break down. You can also get them dyed different colors to change your garden’s appearance, as well as different sizes depending on how long you want it to last. Large bark-type mulches, such as pine bark nuggets, decompose more slowly and last longer. Shredded wood types, such as cedar, cypress, and hardwood, need to be replenished more often. Cocoa bean mulch is even available and has a chocolate odor, however dogs can get sick if they eat or chew it. Do some research about what area you plan on mulching and pick out the type that both looks good and also provides the most benefits to the area.


  • Despite the numerous options available, there are a few basic rules of thumb when applying mulch. These vary a little according to what type of mulch you use and where it is going, however these tips can help you plan ahead.
  • Pull all the weeds out of your garden before putting down your mulch, and make sure to have it about 4 inches deep to help prevent weeds from growing up through. Mulch will not completely stop weeds from growing, but can significantly reduce their numbers.
  • Clear about 6 inches around plant stems to keep them from rotting, since the mulch will hold in moisture.
  • Organic mulches need to be replenished occasionally, as they decompose over time. This is often every two to three years.
  • Put porous landscape fabric under stone mulches to keep it separate from the soil. Fabric is not needed for organic mulches.
  • Stone mulch can be difficult to keep looking clean and well maintained, especially under trees. Debris falls and makes the stones look cluttered, so they must be blown or vacuumed from time to time to maintain a good appearance.

Get in touch with Cary Landscape today to help you choose the best type of mulch for your yard and help you make your garden beautiful!