Mulch is the umbrella term for any organic material used to dress the top of your garden beds. This dressing can consist of compost mulch, bark mulch, sawdust, shredded leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, and straw hay.
What is Bark Mulch?
Bark mulch is made from tree bark. It is the waste material that comes from sawmills and furniture manufacturers that cut and shape wood products. Instead of discarding the leftover wood matter, many companies will sell it to landscaping companies and homeowners at a relatively low cost. Some bark mulch is made specifically for landscaping and can be more expensive. These are made from carefully selected wood types.
Why Bark Mulch?
Landscape professionals use mulches, but specifically, bark mulch, for the many benefits it provides:
- During the growing season, mulch discourages weeds from growing, conserves moisture in the soil, and aids in maintaining soil temperatures.
- During the winter, bark mulch protects perennials and other sensitive plant material.
- Bark mulch isn’t only practical, but it aesthetically enhances garden beds with texture and color to complement the plant material.
How Long does Bark Mulch Last?
Since bark mulch is made from organic plant matter, it is biodegradable. Eventually, this mulch will break down, and a new application will be required. Bark mulch should be replaced every two to three years, depending on the condition.
It should have constant contact with the soil underneath and be watered regularly as the soil would. This will keep the bark mulch relatively healthy, allowing it to slow down the degradation. The durability of bark mulch makes it an attractive choice for property managers, building owners, or homeowners, so most don’t hesitate to pay a slightly higher up-front price for this mulch.
Without mulch, your soil will lose moisture quickly, the roots are more susceptible to extreme temperature changes, and ground aeration will have to be done more often. If keeping your garden healthy and beautiful important to you, then you should consider investing in mulch. It will protect your soil, keep weeds at bay, and ensure your plants thrive.