Mulch is an important part of any garden. The reason why mulch is so important is that it is an organic way to help protect your native plants and soil while also making sure they can grow and thrive in a healthy environment. It reduces water loss and prevents weeds from becoming a hassle in your garden. However, you cannot just simply and mindlessly put down mulch on your plants and into your garden. There are plenty of wrong ways to mulch your native plants that can prove to be problematic to them, so it is crucial to make sure you are mulching the correct way. If you are unsure how to correctly mulch your native plants, here is how you can do just that.
When using mulch for your native plants, it is important to make sure you are using the type of mulch that is most beneficial to your native plants’ needs. For example, using compost material that is not old would be an example of a mulch that you should not be using. Older mulch is better for your native plants because they have had more time to break down, and thus can provide your native plants with a higher level of nutrients. Mulch needs time to break down to truly be effective in making your native plants healthy. Same can be said about wood chips since younger wood chips can strip your garden of much-needed nitrogen.
Another factor you must take into consideration when mulching is layering. This is important because it determines how much mulch you will be using for your native plants. You need to make sure that you do not apply a layer of mulch that is too thin or too thick, otherwise, the mulch will not be doing its job properly and your native plants will suffer because of it. When you are putting down mulch on your native plants, you want to pull the mulch back about two to three inches from the stem of your native plants. Additionally, if you put down a layer of mulch that is too thick, you are just wasting the mulch you are putting down at that point.
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