Mulch - Knowledgebase Question

San Antonio, Te
Avatar for bobbieupchu
Question by bobbieupchu
July 24, 2010
What is the purpose of mulch?
What does light mulch mean? Is there a difference in heaviness of mulch? Is there different kinds of mulch? Can you go into detail about mulch? Just got my first mint plant and I read I have to use light mulch, lol help

Answer from NGA
July 24, 2010
An organic mulch spread over the surface of bare soil will help slow water evaporation and moderate soil temperatures. A light mulch - an inch or so - is generally recommended after planting annuals and perennials in the garden. A thick mulch - 3 or 4 inches - will do the above, plus keep weed seeds from germinating because it will shade the soil surface. You can use all kinds of organic matter as a mulch material. The most commonly used are compost, peatmoss, shredded straw and shredded leaves. There may be locally available mulch materials - rice hulls, for instance, or shredded bark. Any of these products can be used for mulching around your flowers, trees and shrubs. You can also use non-organic mulch materials such as decorative rocks or rubber nuggets. The advantage of organic mulch vs. non-organic mulch is that the organic mulches will decompose and as they do so, they release nutrients into the soil. Organic mulches can also be dug into the soil, which will help loosen the soil and help it drain quickly. Hope this sheds some light on the subject!

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