Q:

How do you choose the right mulch for your yard?

A:

Quick Answer

Choose the right type of mulch for your garden or yard by considering a variety of factors such as weather, soil type, crop and plant types, and landscape design. The right mulch is one that absorbs excess moisture that might harm plants and landscaping, repels insects, suppresses weeds, and adds nutrients to the surrounding soil.

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Full Answer

Mulch is any type of material spread over the surface of the soil. Organic mulches - such as those made from bark, newspaper or ground clippings - decompose and require replenishment or total replacement over time. However, organic mulches also provide vital soil nutrients that benefit plants, crops and landscaping. Mulch materials that are drier or woodier are generally slower to decompose, but they provide fewer soil nutrients.

Wetter mulches such as manure or compost decompose very quickly but are usually effective at fertilizing soil. Bark mulches work well around trees, garden beds and other landscaped areas. Composts and composted manure are ideal for mulch near plants that require additional insulation or nutrient-rich soil. Grass clippings are a good choice for remote areas of the yard to keep weeds from growing. Straw and hay mulches are very absorbent, making them well suited for muddy areas and pathways.

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