How Much Mulch Do I Need in my Garden? Importance of Mulch

Are you trying to determine how much mulch you need in your garden or why you need it at all? Read the article below to get all the answers!

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Gardening can be a long and sometimes very confusing task. Everyone wants a spotlessly clean lawn with healthy grass and flowering flower beds, but have you ever thought about how much work that entails?

There are a lot of annoying details to learn. In what season do the plants grow? How often and at what time should they be given water? Do they need extra plant food, or is the soil sufficient?

No matter how many precautions you take or don’t take, you always have the feeling that something is missing. Well, there’s one thing that can help you and your garden: Mulch!

Below we discuss everything about mulch, what it is, what it does and how to use it. We hope it will help make your lawn the greenest and softest in the neighborhood!

What is mulch?

Mulch is something that is laid on the ground as a protective layer. It can be made from any material as long as it is used to retain moisture in the soil and keep it cool while weeding.

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Mulches can also be used for aesthetic purposes; they add colour and borders to your garden for a cleaner look.

Miscellaneous types of mulch

Mulch, in fact, can be made of anything that serves its purpose. However, there are several materials that are often used to make mulch and that are readily available. Each type of material has its own use and purpose. Essentially, mulch can be divided into two major categories: organic and inorganic.

Biological mulch:

Organic mulch can be made from bark, compost, newspapers, leaves, grass clippings or straw. Organic mulch degrades over time and can improve soil fertility.

Decomposition means that this type of mulch must be replaced. The following provisions shall apply to organic mulch: The drier it is, the longer it takes to decompose, but it gives less nutrients back to the soil.

Although all these materials are organic mulch, each type has a different use and functionality. Make sure you make the right choice.

Inorganic and synthetic mulch:

Synthetic and inorganic mulches exist in different varieties. You can use black plastic, stone, gravel or dust for the landscape.

These types of mulch need to be replaced less often because they do not decay. But it also means that they don’t return fertility to the soil.

Synthetic and inorganic mulching are more effective in blocking moisture and suppressing weed growth.

Synthetic mulches such as plastic and fabric are not as attractive, so you can add a thin layer of bark to improve aesthetics.

Importance of Mulch

Mulch is an important addition to your garden for several reasons. The most important thing is that mulch keeps moisture in the soil, which helps to keep the roots of your plants moist.

It also regulates the soil temperature and forms a buffer between the soil and the external elements. After all, no plant wants to compete with weeds for food and water from the soil; mulch prevents weeds from growing and helps the plant to grow healthier and live longer.

How much mulch do you need?

Bigger isn’t always better. When you add mulch, remember that the roots of your plants still need air to survive. Essentially, you try to suffocate weeds with mulch, but if you apply too thick a layer, you also risk suffocating your plants.

too much mulch

Photo credits : Anne Marie VanderZanden

If you use organic mulch, a 5-inch layer is ideal for retaining moisture, but you can add others depending on the type of mulch.

If your mulch is finely chopped, the maximum thickness should be 3 inches, but if you have pine or bark nuggets, they let more air through so they can be placed up to 4 inches.

Depending on the size of the bed for which you need mulch and the depth at which you want to use it, you can decide how much mulch you need. You can buy mulch in a bag or in the garden, depending on how much you want to use.

Measure the garden for mulching

If you search online, there are several mulch calculators that can help you determine the amount of mulch you need, but you can also do it manually.

You need to determine the number of square meters of bed for which you need the mulch by measuring it. If you have a rectangular bed, multiply the length by the width to get square frames.

For round beds, measure from the edge to the center of the circle to get the radius. Multiply the radius itself and then multiply the sum by pi (3.14). Now that you have the desired area, you determine the depth of the mulch you need.

Malch is for sale per cubic meter. One cubic metre of material equals 324 square metres per inch of depth. So to get the total, multiply your area by the desired depth in inches and divide by 324. The formula you will use: Room area x desired depth / 324 = required cubic meters.

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