DIY Home Mulching & Landscaping Tips

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by Fred Roundstone
(Angmering, West Sussex, UK)

Are you thinking of landscaping with mulch? A neatly arranged bed of mulch does a great job of improving the appearance of the lawn. But besides its aesthetic value, it also has other benefits. Mulch serves as a protective mechanism for the root systems of the plants and at the same time it provides nutrients that make the soil richer.

It also prevents soil erosion and weeds as well as retaining moisture. Here are some tips that will help you with your project.

Types of mulches

There are two kinds of mulches, organic and inorganic ones. Organic mulches are created from natural substances and help enhance the soil via decomposition.

Lawn clippings can be used when the mowing season begins. This type of mulch should be dried thoroughly before being used since it has a tendency to mat when spread thick if it is not dry. Don’t use clippings that have been sprayed with herbicide. Grass is nitrogen rich and is ideal when used as a vegetable mulch.

Sawdust is also easily obtained in most areas. It is a good idea to let it decompose after mixing it with a small amount of soil to prevent it from getting blown away when dry or matting when wet.

Nitrogen in the soil may be lessened if fresh sawdust is introduced into the soil but if the sawdust is just on the upper portion of the soil, this will not be a problem.

Straw is what is left of the stem of grains that have been harvested. Because of its light weight, you may have some trouble applying it. It needs to be replaced more often since it decomposes quickly. It is a good choice for areas that have been newly seeded.

For inorganic mulches here are the choices: 

Recycled rubber is usually picked as an alternative to bark or stone. Natural looking recycled rubber does not only last very long time but is also safe.

Its main advantages are: it enhances the retention of water, it regulates soil temperature, prevents weed growth, and has good aesthetic values.

Plastic on the other hand, makes the soil warm and prevents air and water from penetrating or getting out of it and it does not decompose.

The plant’s growth is accelerated by the additional heat and moisture. Due to its solid characteristics, plastic mulches need an irrigation system.

These are some of the mulches that you can use for landscaping. Plan carefully and decide which kind of mulch to use based on the appearance and needs of your landscaping project.

Go ahead and make your dream lawn a reality!

Click here to read more DIY home gardening tips

Updated: November 7, 2013 — 3:15 pm

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