3 Things to Know Before You Buy Mulch

Date: 10 Jul 2013 Tags: , , , ,

Few things are better for your garden or yard than an ample layer of mulch. Mulch shades roots from too much heat, prevents evaporation and erosion, and its decomposition feeds the microbes in the soil, keeping it rich and healthy.

But what should you know before you get out the wheelbarrow and the rake?

Quality Control

What do you know about the quality of mulches? It’s pretty tough to tell what exactly, is shredded up in there. So make sure you purchase mulch from reputable dealers or greenhouses. The mulch available at gas stations and the like might be construction debris, which can have numerous chemical additives.

What Type Do You Need?

There are hundreds of types of mulches, and like anything else, much depends on where and how you plan to use it. Vegetable gardens, for instance, had best have something fluffy and light, like straw. Not only will it discourage the weeds, but it helps keep the soil from compacting, which is bound to happen when you need to tromp back there every day to collect your harvest.

A good general landscaping mulch is shredded mulch, any type, from pine to cedar to hardwood. It’s particularly good with perennial beds, since it won’t pose too much of a problem when you need to dig in there occasionally. It’s also fine for use under trees, but, since smaller particles break down faster, they will need refreshing more often. If you want to save yourself some labor, you can put wood chips or nuggets under trees. But keep them away from anywhere you need to dig, because they are really no fun to dig through.

To Bulk, or Not to Bulk?

Mulch comes in 2 cu. foot bags or in truckloads by the yard. It is always cheaper in bulk, but there are a few reasons you might want it by the bag.

Bags are easy to handle. If the idea of shoveling the wheelbarrow full, hauling it to where you need it, and then emptying it carefully around your beautiful plants holds no allure for you, bags might be the way to go. Bags are also ideal if you have no place to dump a truck full of shredded bark, or if you live somewhere that delivery costs would be prohibitive. Finally, you might want it by the bag if you have just a small garden that only needs refreshing.

For almost any other circumstances, bulk is the way to go. At JK Enterprises, we have both bulk and bagged mulch, and we can help you figure out the best way to go. Just give us a call at 703-352-1858.

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