As a gardener, you’re concerned about how to keep your flower beds healthy and relatively weed free. You know that weeds compete with your flowers for water, nutrients, space and sunlight. Your flowers need these things to stay happy, healthy and strong, and therefore, better able to fend off the elements and pests. A very effective way to keep your flower beds healthy is to use organic mulch. Yes, you could use any mulch, but it’s best to use organic mulch for achieving vigorous, beautiful flower beds.
Why not use Regular Mulch?
When you use a non-organic mulch, you’re not feeding your soil, which is responsible for feeding your flowers and plants. A non-organic mulch would be materials used to cover the soil such as pebbles, stones or plastic. These materials are actually more inconvenient to use than an organic mulch and do nothing to feed your soil. Stones will inevitably find their way into your lawn and sidewalk, becoming both a nuisance and a mowing hazard. Plastic is ugly and must be cut to size, including holes to accommodate plants. Although they last longer, non-organic mulches require a level of maintenance that organic mulches don’t.
Why Use Organic Mulch?
Organic mulch performs many important functions besides preventing erosion. Organic mulch actually adds nutrients to the soil as it decomposes which strengthens and improves the makeup and structure of the soil. This, in turn, builds up your flowers and plants, giving them better health and resistance to pests and other environmental influences. Additionally, organic mulch retains moisture, thus protecting your flowers and plants during dry spells. In the fall, you can simply till in the organic mulch in order to feed your flower beds during the winter. Organic mulch produces a more inviting environment for earthworms and other beneficial insects, which are needed to produce a strong and healthy flower bed.
What Kind of Organic Mulch?
There are many kinds of organic mulch that you can use to keep your flowers beds healthy. These can be found at your local home store or nursery. They include materials such as ground nut shells or corn cobs and peat moss. Other materials, like pine needles, grass clippings and shredded leaves are free. If you compost, you can also use layers of compost material, as long as it’s thoroughly composted. You can even use non-glossy, torn or shredded newspaper for mulch. Bark and wood chips are organic, but they don’t break down as quickly as other organic mulches, and it’s difficult to till these into the soil in the fall.
Clearly, using an organic mulch is the ideal choice when preparing your flower beds. Organic mulch helps conserve moisture while fostering a healthier and better balanced soil, therefore allowing you more biological control over your garden. Using organic mulch leads to happier, healthier flower beds.
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Peter Wendt is a writer, researcher and novice green thumb in Austin, Texas. He plans to improve his lawn in 2013 and spoke with Austin Mulch and More to learn more. Click here to visit their website.