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Garden Mulch

Garden Mulch

Tracy DiSabato-Aust (Garden Designer and Author) gives expert video advice on: What is 'mulch'?; What type of mulch should I use in my garden?; What is the proper method of mulching?

What is 'mulch'?

Mulch can be a variety of different items. It can be pine needles which I love to use. It can be a pine soil conditioner, which I also use, which is a high organic conditioner. We can use cocoa shells, and what we use it for is basically to retain moisture to help prevent weed, seed germination and we also use it to prevent soil temperature fluctuation.

What type of mulch should I use in my garden?

Mulch is a very personal preference. I urge you to be careful with the mulch that you select, to ensure that it's not coming from a species of trees that's endangered or that is at risk. Some of the mulch that is still being sold is not really environmentally friendly. Be careful in your selection, ensuring that it's an environmentally friendly material; one that's readily available in your area. I prefer a pine soil conditioner. It's a very fine mulch that can be worked into the soil. I don't like the big, large chunks of mulch that look artificial in the garden beds.

What is the proper method of mulching?

With mulch you want to usually add about two inches. We are a society of over-mulches'. It's the suburban curse. With every spring, people feel that they must go out and purchase mulch and re-mulch the beds. We are using the mulch to help moderate the temperature, retain moisture and prevent weeds. We don't need to apply mulch every single year to areas, particularly because that may just have a few shrubs in the bed. What we're finding is that we're actually over-mulching many plants that are shallow rooted, such as the azaleas, rhododendron and acid loving plants.