When Spring arrives, and the smell of fresh mulch is in the air, you might be wondering, what is the purpose of mulch? If you’re looking to spruce up your landscape, a fresh layer of mulch will most certainly accomplish that goal. On top of making your landscape look better, there are many other benefits of mulch.
What Is the Purpose of Mulch in Omaha?
When you apply mulch, it is much more than just a decorative cover for your garden beds and plant roots. Whether you use organic/natural materials, like bark and pine straw, or plain landscaping fabric or plastic, mulch helps by improving the quality of the soil and protecting your plants all year round. Mulch also protects bare soil and prevents weed seeds from spreading, so your landscaping remains attractive and enhances your home’s curb appeal.
Mulch benefits both ornamental and edible garden plants. Mulch is good for your garden and landscape because it:
- Enhances the visual appeal of the landscape
- Improves fertility and adds nutrients to the soil
- Keeps mowers and weed eaters away from trees
- Conserves moisture in the soil
- Suppresses weed growth
- Prevents erosion of soil
- Regulates soil temperature
How to Pick The Right Type of Mulch for Your Garden
The best mulch companies in Omaha offer two basic kinds of mulch: organic and inorganic.
Organic mulches include formerly living materials such as:
- chopped leaves
- grass clippings
- wood chips
- shredded bark – bark mulches
- pine needles
Advantages of Organic Mulch
Benefits of using organic mulch include:
- Long-term improvement of soil nutrient level
- Enhanced soil texture and structure
- Promotion of beneficial microorganisms and earthworms
- Lower costs compared to inorganic mulches
- Erosion control, and prevention of overheating in gardens
Disadvantages of Organic Mulch
Organic mulch also has its disadvantages, such as:
- Routine replacement is needed due to decomposition
- Possibility of weed seeds being present in some mulches
- Depletion of soil nitrogen levels when using fresh wood mulches
- Risk of attracting pests when using moist wood mulches around foundations
It is important to consider these factors when deciding whether or not to use organic mulch in your garden.
Where should you use organic mulch?
Organic mulch can be used in various areas to improve soil health and prevent weed growth and is ideal for:
- Vegetable gardens
- Annual flower and perennial gardens
- Around trees and shrubs
- Areas prone to erosion
- Turf that needs a green boost
- Around pathways.
Organic mulch helps retain moisture and nutrients in the soil, preventing soil erosion and improving plant growth. However, it is important to consider the type of organic mulch and its potential impact on soil nutrient levels, as well as its routine replacement to prevent weed growth and maintain its effectiveness.
Inorganic mulches include:
- black plastic
- geotextiles (landscape fabrics)
Many people opt to use inorganic mulch because it does not decompose and will stay looking new for longer periods of time.
Advantages of non-organic mulch
- Non-organic mulch doesn’t decompose quickly, so you won’t need to replace it as often. Depending on the type you choose, it can last for five years or more.
- Non-organic mulch doesn’t contain organic matter, which means it won’t harbor weed seeds and won’t introduce weeds into your garden.
- Unlike fresh wood mulch, non-organic mulch doesn’t consume nitrogen from the soil.
- Decorative stone mulches come in many colors and sizes and can add aesthetic value to your landscape.
- Gravel can create an unappealing environment for pests like termites and roaches that are attracted to damp wood.
Disadvantages of non-organic mulch
- Stone mulch may settle deeply into the soil over time, making planting difficult.
- During hot summer months, rocks can retain and reflect heat, potentially damaging nearby plants and causing discomfort to people and pets.
- Plastic sheeting can trap moisture and suffocate beneficial insects like worms, while landscape fabric may get clogged with soil particles, impeding the flow of water.
Where should you use non-organic mulch?
- Around hardscape features like footpaths and patios
- In rock gardens and rain gardens
- Around your home’s foundation to discourage pests
- In areas where weeds and pests are common
Which type of mulch is best? Organic or Inorganic?
Both types of mulch discourage weeds, but organic mulches also improve the soil as they decompose. Inorganic mulches don’t break down and enrich the soil, but under certain circumstances, they’re the best mulch choice.
For example, black plastic warms the soil and radiates heat during the night, keeping heat-loving vegetables such as eggplant and cherry tomatoes cozy and vigorous.
Mulch Installation Information
Avoid Spreading Thick Layers of Mulch
Despite what you see around town, be careful not to bury the trunk or any exposed root flares when spreading mulch around trees. Mulch retains moisture and will invite fungus to the base of the tree, which will result in dying, rotting, or falling over.
It’s never a good idea to install dyed mulch (color-enhanced) before or during a rain event. The color will wash or bleed off. The best practice is to make sure the mulch has a few days to dry in the hot sun after installation. This should minimize the washing and bleeding of the dye or colorant.
It is also a good idea to lay down a tarp where your mulch will be delivered, especially if you have it dumped on a concrete surface. Dyed mulch will stain any surface that it comes in contact with. A good rain will usually wash away most of the stain, but on a new concrete surface, it won’t be as easy.
Omaha Tree Services – Omaha Mulching Services
At Omaha Tree, we recycle all of our wood waste material from the trees we trim and remove in the greater Omaha metro area. The wood waste material is brought back to our 8-acre site at 3606 McKinley Street, where it is processed into a beautiful & consistent mulch product that is local, fresh, and clean. Contact us today.
Omaha Mulch Prices
Our mulch products are LOCAL, FRESH, CLEAN & CONSISTANT. Our mulch is sold to various nurseries, landscapers & residential homeowners.
$20 per cubic yard
Coffee Brown, Hickory Brown & Black:
$34 per cubic yard
Amber & Red:
$38 per cubic yard